Modern electronics health records (EHR) software systems are incredibly powerful tools. They have to be. Medical practitioners from a wide variety of specialities rely on these platforms to keep detailed, historical records of their patients, log test results, track prescription changes and more.
Being able to do all these things isn’t the same as being able to do all these things easily though. That’s why EHR software interfaces are an important factor in the final software purchase decision. Buyers will want to choose a system with a well-designed interface that practitioners and staff can learn to use quickly and easily in order to improve efficiency and workflows.
Whether you need a solution for scheduling and billing, an entire electronics health records (EHR) suite or a system just for writing electronic prescriptions, your software should have a user interface that’s intuitive and that doesn’t require too many clicks to navigate.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss:
A software’s user interface is made up of everything that allows the user to interact with the system and make it work for them. The most effective software interface designs are easy to navigate, allow users to easily switch between tasks and improve the user’s overall experience with the product.
A medical software interface determines the ways practitioners and staff use the system to perform common tasks:
|Update patient records||An intuitive patient record design should allow doctors and staff to see important information at a glance.|
|Schedule appointments||The software should make it clear what appointments are available and notify users of any scheduling conflicts.|
|Fill prescriptions||Drop-downs, filtering and search functionality should allow users to find the right prescriptions with ease.|
|Explain diagnoses||Helpful resources such as diagrams and videos can be made readily available to better explain diagnoses.|
|File insurance claims||Tailored interfaces for practitioners, patients and insurance providers can present only relevant information to that user.|
|Bill patients||Clear billing instructions and workflows can ensure clarity of payments and reduce errors.|
The term “user-friendly” can mean different things to different people. In our report on user-friendly EHRs for solo practitioners, we looked at reviews for systems that actual users gave high ease-of-use ratings to.
Reviewers consistently call out some specific qualities that make these platforms more user-friendly than others. Here are some characteristics you can look for when searching for an intuitive medical software design:
Adaptive learning. When a system can learn from its user instead of the other way around, users can get more done faster. Some vendors offer medical software with artificial intelligence capabilities built in. These systems may learn how different doctors take notes, or ask questions to narrow down diagnoses when similar situations arise. The more a user interacts with the system, the better it can learn their preferences.
Mobile accessibility. Different devices are easier to use in different settings: For example, a tablet is helpful for the exam room, a desktop application may be better for billing and a mobile application allows practitioners to prescribe medications remotely. Survey your office to learn what their current mobile operating systems are and look for a system that offers native mobile apps to get the best user experience across devices.
Integrated applications and modules. Using a complete EHR suite with integrated scheduling, billing, charting, coding and records in one platform allows users to navigate between tasks more quickly and easily. Alternatively, you can choose multiple stand-alone applications that are able to integrate with one another. Either option can help eliminate errors and tedious double entry.
Intuitive design. An EHR design that allows you to move easily and naturally between different applications means less time spent navigating the software and more time spent on patient care. For example, many systems include tabs or a navigation menu that is always visible on the top or side of the screen, and that require only one click to switch to a different application or module.
Customization options. Systems that offer the ability to customize dashboards, form fields and application/module screens allow you to create your own unique software interface, with only the most important information for your practice. For example, some systems offer users the ability to hide menus or notifications that aren’t relevant to their needs.
Medios EHR’s Patient Profile screen shows a patient’s clinical, financial, exchange and portal information in separate, easily found tabs
Here are some important factors to consider when comparing medical software options:
Be open to all deployment options. The best software interfaces are built for convenience and flexibility across devices and platforms. While on-premise options can still be user-friendly and well-designed, cloud-based systems tend to offer the most flexibility, since they’re accessible from any compatible device with Internet access.
Keep in mind that geographic location is also a factor. Practices in more rural areas may not have access to the bandwidth necessary for a cloud-based solution.
Narrow down the capabilities you need. A flashy user interface may look great—but remember, it’s only user-friendly if the user’s experience is actually improved by the design. Choose a system that offers the functionality you actually need. Don’t just buy something that looks good, or that comes with capabilities your staff will never use. If it’s too feature-heavy, it will feel cumbersome, no matter what.
Consult the rest of the team. Be sure to talk to everyone involved before deciding which medical software to purchase. Physicians with different specialties, nurses and office staff may each have specific needs when it comes to the new system.
To determine what these needs are, try:
We're able to offer this service to buyers for free, because software vendors pay us on a "pay-per-lead" basis. Buyers get great advice. Sellers get great referrals.