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Fifty Usability Ideas for Pharmacy inspired by iTunes


It seems that this is the year of usability in medical applications.  There are lots of studies and examples of how better usability impacts patient care and workflow.   A couple of years ago Allen Flynn from the Univ of Michigan Hospitals and pharmacy informatics extraordinaire, presented this concept of a pharmacy profile, a la iTunes.  This is awesome and a classic.  Thanks to Allen Flynn for allowing to share his brilliant ideas.   A pdf of the entire iTunes pharmacy profile is attached.


Fifty Usability Ideas for Pharmacy inspired by iTunes


1. Pharmacy Department’s on-screen message box

2. Patient selection via Venue -> Unit -> Name

3. Updating counts of orders to be verified in parenthesis (y)

4. Drug information summary box updated for current drug
5. Contextual hyperlinks to drug info databases as buttons

6. On-screen clock

7. Large name panel with age, sex, weight, CrCL

8. Name panel scrolls on command to show current visit details

8. Active, discontinued and home medications toggle

9. Dynamic search capability

10. Pharmaco-surveillance provided as patient-specific alert buttons

11. System status signal with double-click for detailed information

12. Active orders count

13. Note management functions include Add, Edit and Remove

14. Pause function

15. Expandable window

16. Drug list with column sort, columns add, column arrangement

17. Window-shade order detail view without dialog boxes

18. Step-wise order verification using dynamic evaluation panes

19. Order risk ranking based on drug, order and patient information

20. Order provenance information for ordering clinician and process

21. IV push guidelines directly integrated into verification workflow

22. Rule-based forcing functions for verification steps

23. Metadata Dosing Evaluator with statistical indicators

24. Metadata Characteristic Selectors control the metadata used

25. Metadata Frequency Evaluator based on previous orders

26. Supply chain analysis pane with ADM and inventory information

27. Related home medications by generic name and therapeutic class

28. Previous orders for same order item listing

29. Allergy review pane with allergy data collection forcing function

30. Related findings pane with lab, vital signs and physiologic data 

31. Alerts and responses pane shows clinicians’ CDS responses

32. Ordering clinicians’ names with hyperlinks to paging system

33. Order level notes function

34. Patient level notes function

35. Hover over PRN column to see detail of prn reasons

36. Hover over Dose and Frequency column to see scheduled times

37. ADM product availability column updated by ADM system

38. Verified order check-box

39. PRN assessment pane

40. Add customized verification panes to the verification process

41. Active ingredient by active ingredient verification

42. Switch all oral dosage forms from solids to liquids and vice-versa

43. Change all appropriate IVPB diluents from D5 to NS or vice-versa

44. Calculated CrCL on screen has selectable equation options

45. Body surface area onscreen

46. User’s recently verified medication list (not shown)

47. Patient’s individualized IV compatibility chart (not shown)

48. Last 24 hours and cumulative lifetime dose (not shown) columns

49. Infusion titration history graph pane (not shown)

50. Unused PRN indicator

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