Healthcare IT Data Entry Takeaways

Posted on January 23, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was looking over Rock Health’s writeup of the Health Innovation Summit. A lot of the post is more about what happened as opposed to what was said, but there were some really interesting takeaways that stuck out to me from the Form Reform: Data Entry for Humans session by Jackson Wilkinson. Here’s the section on it:

Jackson Wilkinson, Co-founder of WeSprout, gave attendees practical advice for data entry. Data is an important part of the healthcare equation, but input design is blocking progress. Quick take-aways: Don’t ask for anything you don’t need; whatever you request, return the favor in spades; make it fast, accurate, and simple. And don’t forget: The best form is the one you never have to fill out.

The money phrases:

Input design is blocking progress
Whatever you request, return the favor in spades
The best form is the one you never have to fill out.

While I’m quite sure this presentation had to do more with consumer health IT than EMR and EHR software, I think there’s a lot that could be learned from these comments by EMR companies. Far too many EHR companies believe that they have their users captive and so they can ask whatever they want of their users. Sure, they’d never admit this out loud, but when you look at their EHR software and the design, you realize that they weren’t focusing on the above points very well.

As I think about these points, I’m taken back to a visit to San Francisco where I met with the founders of Elation EMR, Conan and Kyna. I absolutely loved their laser focus on stripping out the unneeded extras in their EMR software. They talked about becoming a certified EHR and handling ePrescribing and how they literally had to work tirelessly to make meaningful use of a certified EHR a seamless experience that didn’t place an undue burden on the provider. I saw this same focus through every part of their approach to EHR software development. I haven’t seen their software in a while so I don’t know how well they’ve followed through on this focus, but I’m interested to see it again to find out.