Software solutions that purport to be innovative are flooding the healthcare world, but often become more of a problem than the ones they set out to solve.

A recent CNBC report detailed how entrepreneurs, engineers and developers need to pair with physicians to gain better insight into the type of problems they aim to solve.

For example, it points to Epic sending engineers to open heart surgeries as an illustration of the standard medical software developers should aspire toward.

Many vendors don’t have that degree of connection to the practitioner, however – and the result is alert fatigue, hours spent on data entry, and a general malaise towards software solutions that are supposed to help, but really just mean more work and another clunky interface.

Recognizing this, the American Medical Association has recently paired with technology developers and clinicians to develop the Digital Health Implementation Book, which helps physicians better adopt health technology in their practices – and suggests what vendors can do to make their products more useful and user-friendly.

Since practices vary and one piece of software can be used in different ways depending on the provider, developers need to be responsive to requests for information and support.

Additionally, AMA recommends that developers need to listen to physician feedback and focus on hearing how doctors actually use their software so that they can continuously improve their solutions.

Physicians trying to cope with technology frustrations are hardly a new phenomenon for 2018. Burnout is a major problem that many developers and healthcare systems are exerting a tremendous amount of effort to fix.

Similarly, others in the healthcare space are seeing how responsivity and feedback-gathering can lead to better care for patients.

It follows, then, that this technique works backwards for developers. Spending more time with actual physicians and watching them at work will help vendors make products that will fit into a physician workflow – not just be added on top of it.

Benjamin Harris is a Maine-based freelance writer and and former new media producer for HIMSS Media.
Twitter: @BenzoHarris.

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