Zariukian stated usability to be an underexposed topic in HealthIT. Form, fit and function are important in usability. Form is the shape, size, mass, the 'look' of a product. Fit is ability physically interface, connect, integrate. Function is the action the product is designed to perform. Usability affects how we think, feel and act. By examples and backgrounds, Zaroukian clearly showed the importance of usability to get HealthIT accepted and used both by patients and professionals. With good usability It is easier to do the thing right and it is easier to do the right thing. The meaningfull use projects in he US has shown a struggle of physicians to use EHRs requiring extensive training. Specific problems were system wait times for busy clinicians and new abilities that seemed to be "bolted on" and not integrated properly.
HIMSS published a document on usabilty of the EMR in 2009, accessible at
Below you can find the official information and abstract from the program
Closing Keynote: Assessing and Advancing EHR System UsabilityMichael H. Zaroukian, MD, PhD, FACP, FHIMSS Vice President and CMIO, Sparrow Health System
Physicians, nurses and other clinicians are responsible for gathering, recording, analyzing and acting on health information in electronic health record (EHR) systems. Assessing and advancing EHR usability is important to clinician productivity, satisfaction and best use of clinical information systems to improve healthcare quality, safety, efficiency and value. In the closing keynote, a HIMSS Board member and practicing physician informaticist, will give his perspective on EHR usability challenges and opportunities, as well as strategies and tools for evaluating and improving the usability of EHR systems.