Usability testing of two ambulatory EHR navigators

Gretchen Hultman, Jenna Marquard, Elliot Arsoniadis, Pamela Mink, Rubina Rizvi, Tim Ramer, Saif Khairat, Keri Fickau, Genevieve B. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Despite widespread electronic health record (EHR) adoption, poor EHR system usability continues to be a significant barrier to effective system use for end users. One key to addressing usability problems is to employ user testing and user-centered design. Objectives: To understand if redesigning an EHR-based navigation tool with clinician input improved user performance and satisfaction. Methods: A usability evaluation was conducted to compare two versions of a redesigned ambulatory navigator. Participants completed tasks for five patient cases using the navigators, while employing a think-aloud protocol. The tasks were based on Meaningful Use (MU) requirements. Results: The version of navigator did not affect perceived workload, and time to complete tasks was longer in the redesigned navigator. A relatively small portion of navigator content was used to complete the MU-related tasks, though navigation patterns were highly variable across participants for both navigators. Preferences for EHR navigation structures appeared to be individualized. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the importance of EHR usability assessments to evaluate group and individual performance of different interfaces and preferences for each design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
JournalApplied clinical informatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Schattauer 2016.


  • Electronic health record
  • Meaningful use
  • Usability


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