Usability Concepts and the Clinical Workstation

  • Nancy Staggers
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


Nothing is more apparent than the need for usability concepts in clinical systems, a need made immediately obvious to anyone attending vendor demonstrations. Recently, authors advocated usability principles in healthcare systems (Fralic, 1992; Lowery and Martin, 1990; Zielstorff, Hudgings, and Grobe, 1993). The National Center for Nursing Research expert panel was more emphatic about the importance of usability: “The quality of patient care is determined in part by how accurately and easily the nurse can enter, retrieve, interpret, and comprehend data” (National Center for Nursing Research, 1993, p. 65). To date, these calls for action about system usability have seemingly been ignored. The evidence for usability in software exists outside health care, yet our industry is virtually untouched by these concepts. Why do we need usability concepts in healthcare computing? What is usability? How are usability concepts useful in clinical workstation design? These questions are discussed in this chapter. Specific usability solutions are recommended as fundamental techniques for clinical workstation development.


Mental Model Problem List Usability Concept Usability Solution Workstation Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

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  • Nancy Staggers

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