Introduction: There are various applications and health information systems which have been developed to promote the effective retrieval of patient information, statistics, research, and education. Therefore, there is a need to design them in consistency with scientific principles of usability. To this end, the usability of hospital information sub-systems employed at the hospitals of Ahvaz were compared using heuristic evaluation method. The objective of the study was to assess the usability of hospital information system according to heuristic evaluation.
Material and Methods: Six trained evaluators, independently determined the ADT subsystem, HIM subsystem, and NIS according to Nielsen’s 10 Heuristic Principles. Since more than half of the hospitals (about 54%) employed Sib application, no specific sampling method was used. After combining the usability problems, the average severity ratings of the problems were calculated, and then the subsystems were compared.
Results: The number of the usability problems of the ADT information subsystem, HIM subsystem, and NIS were 40, 39, and 37, respectively. After merging the problems, the features of “user control and freedom” with 20 cases and “flexibility and efficiency of use” with six cases had the highest and the lowest inconsistencies with usability principles. The average severity ratings of the problems also varied between 1.7 and 3.
Conclusion: Heuristic evaluation method is regarded as one of the approaches appropriate to identify usability problems in health information systems. Thus, it is advisable to utilize this method to modify the design of the systems and to improve their efficiency before their implementation in order to increase user satisfaction.
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