What do patients & doctors want in E H R’s

thinkstockphotos-483481733_0KEY TAKEAWAY: Patient’s aren’t using physician portals and most doctors think that EHR vendors are purposely making their lives a living hell.  Rather than try and be all things to every patient and doctor EHR vendors need to streamline software to deliver real value to users.

I was just reviewing some research with patients on what they want from their HCP’s when it comes to EHR’s.  The key findings include..

1ne: The ability to make/change appointments online.

2wo: View test results online with highlights to show areas of concern.

3hree: Read doctor’s notes online from office visits.

4our: Integration of all medical records in one online location and to have those available online.


With more portals launching every week, and an estimated $900 million spent on them annually by 2017, more and more “patients” will be asking themselves the question, “What am I supposed to do with this?”  “Who’s our user, and what do they need?” It’s a central question of design, and underpins the creation of any successful service or tool. Yet patient portals usually seem deaf to this basic consideration.

Doctor’s on the other hand have different needs..

-Intuitive use for office staff that doesn’t require hours of training.

-Software that is NOT cloud based.

-Access via mobile and desktop devices.

-Upgrades that don’t require more training of staff.


Early adopters of EHR’say the challenges have been overwhelming. It’s “very costly,” one doctor said. “I am still paying a huge amount.  “It’s slowed our productivity dramatically,” she explained. “Every time they have more regulations, more things I have to answer takes time away from the patient.”

The answer to all this?  Basic user developed online EHR’s.  As one physician told me “not one EHR vendor has reached out to me or my colleagues to ask “what do you really want & need?”. Instead, vendors push out products based on very little research and lousy user experiences.  One doctor summed it up this way “it’s more about the pot of gold and getting a slice of the pie than actually developing something that my staff really likes”