Appl Clin Inform 2011; 02(02): 202-224
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2011-01-RA-0004
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Usability Evaluation of An Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) Application

J. Guo
1  College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
,
S. Iribarren
1  College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
,
S. Kapsandoy
1  College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
,
S. Perri
1  College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
,
N. Staggers
1  College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
2  School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Correspondence to:

Jia-Wen Guo
The University of Utah
College of Nursing
10 South 2000 East
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 84112

Publication History

Received: 24 January 2011

Accepted: 23 April 2011

Publication Date:
16 December 2017 (online)

 

Summary

Background: Electronic medication administration records (eMARs) have been widely used in recent years. However, formal usability evaluations are not yet available for these vendor applications, especially from the perspective of nurses, the largest group of eMAR users.

Objective: To conduct a formal usability evaluation of an implemented eMAR.

Methods: Four evaluators examined a commercial vendor eMAR using heuristic evaluation techniques. The evaluators defined seven tasks typical of eMAR use and independently evaluated the application. Consensus techniques were used to obtain 100% agreement of identified usability problems and severity ratings. Findings were reviewed with 5 clinical staff nurses and the Director of Clinical Informatics who verified findings with a small group of clinical nurses.

Results: Evaluators found 60 usability problems categorized into 233 heuristic violations. Match, Error, and Visibility heuristics were the most frequently violated. Administer Medication and Order and Modify Medications tasks had the highest number of heuristic violations and usability problems rated as major or catastrophic.

Conclusion: The high number of usability problems could impact the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of nurses’ medication administration activities and may include concerns about patient safety. Usability is a joint responsibility between sites and vendors. We offer a call to action for usability evaluations at all sites and eMAR application redesign as necessary to improve the user experience and promote patient safety.


#

 


#

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors have actual or potential conflicts of interest to disclose.


Correspondence to:

Jia-Wen Guo
The University of Utah
College of Nursing
10 South 2000 East
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 84112