CHITREC Human Factors Research and Usability Program

CHITREC is working to improve the usability of electronic health record (EHR) systems through research. The aims of the CHITREC Usability program are:

1. Measure User Efficacy, Efficiency and Satisfaction with EHR

  • Users: By measuring, describing, and modeling clinical user performance we will provide guidance on human factors affecting adoption and use of health information technologies in clinical practice.
  • Environment: With field observation, qualitative and quantitative analysis, we will gain insights into the contextual factors undergirding successful HIT implementations.
  • Systems: With evaluation, analysis, and user testing of EHRs, we will define a protocol enabling independent assessment of usability and comparative judgments.

2. Provide Visionary Leadership:  We aim to design novel user interfaces to serve as a beacon to development. The designs will improve clinician efficiency and insight, display patient data in unique and interesting ways, and result in better, safer, and more cost-effective patient care.

3. Develop Standards and Guidelines: CHITREC Usability will make user interface standards and guidelines more approachable to the developer community.  In combination with in-situ measurement of usability we will develop standards and guidelines to guide new and more effective user interface models.

4. Provide Education: The program will develop a systematic treatment of the impact and application of usability, human factors, and human performance on EHR usage. Educational content will be made available to the NU community, CHITREC consituents, the NU MMI program, and the public.

The CHITREC Usability program:

    1. Has launched a new state–of-the-art usability laboratory in the Feinberg School of Medicine available for testing electronic health records systems and other health information technology applications.
    2. Has recruited staff with expertise in human factors and usability to conduct on-site usability testing. An emphasis is placed on integrating electronic health records into clinic workflow to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.
    3. Invites clinic sites to participate in research that can inform design of electronic health record systems.

Want to participate?
Contact Dr. Enid Montague at [email protected] or (312) 503-6461 to receive information about usability, to learn about testing at your practice, or for a personalized consultation.

More Information

Get an overview of usability.

Read about usability enhancement in health IT at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

View our investigators and usability publications.

Read “Understanding Development Methods from Other Industries to Improve the Design of Consumer Health IT Maryland