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Yale study: Doctors give electronic health records an ‘F’
Usability ratings for everyday products measured with the System Usability Scale. Google: 93%; microwave: 87%; ATM: 82%; Amazon: 82%; Microsoft Word: 76%; digital video recorder: 74%; global positioning system: 71%; Microsoft Excel: 57%; electronic health records: 45%. (Illustration by Michael S. Helfenbein)
The transition to electronic health records (EHRs) was supposed to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare for doctors and patients alike — but these technologies get an “F” rating for usability from health care professionals, and may be contributing to high rates of professional burnout, according to a new Yale-led study.
By contrast, Google’s search engine earned an “A” and ATMs a “B” in similar but separate studies. Like EHRs, the spreadsheet software Excel got an “F.”
“A Google search is easy,” said lead author Edward R. Melnick, assistant professor of emergency medicine and director of the Clinical Informatics Fellowship at Yale. “There’s not a lot of learning or memorization; it’s not very error-prone. Excel, on the other hand, is a super-powerful platform, but you really have to study how to use it. EHRs mimic that.”