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User Interface in Medical Information Systems – Common Problems and Sustainable Solutions

Author(s): Tatjana N. Stanković | Petar J. Rajković | Aleksandar M. Milenković | Dragan S. Janković

Journal: Electronics
ISSN 1450-5843

Volume: 14;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Electronic Health Record | Medical Information System | User-centered software development | User-interface design approaches

As the other segments of society, healthcare delivery can be significantly improved having Medical Information Systems (MIS) as part of its IT infrastructure. MIS systems can be described then as one of founding blocks of efficient, well organized and reliable work of healthcare facilities. This is in theory, but in reality there are quite some cases when introduction of MIS downgraded business processes of medical institutions. These cases are usually related to poorly understandable and confusing user interface. This is particularly emphasized in the MIS employment phase, when users are not used to the new applications. Our research has shown that MISdevelopers have completely different view to the system than the end users. This fact leads towards serious problems during the adoption phase of MIS. Problems escalate when IT professionals try to apply some fancy interface to “improve” functionality of the system, rather than to follow the end- users’ habits. Working on a project of developing MIS for Serbian public healthcare, we have tried one opposite approach – to make user interface as much is possible similar to existing documents and follow existing processes and documentation workflows. Having these two design postulates in mind, we managed to give some improvements in MIS development, which have already resulted with users’ approval, and extremely reduced time needed for their training.

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