Why “Easy” Matters

Have you ever noticed how some technology seems to just be naturally easy to use? Maybe it’s your phone, your television or a favorite program on your computer.

On the other hand, some of the technology in our lives can be really painful to use. In spite of this, we often manage to train ourselves to use it anyway. The blinking clock on a VCR was an example in the past, some of today’s EHR programs make setting those clocks look trivial.

The difference between easy and difficult is critical if you use the technology on a regular basis. “Easy” means you get your task done more quickly, you need less training and technical support, and you can focus on the task you’re trying to accomplish rather than on the software itself. Easy-to-use software can literally change your day, and unfortunately we all know that difficult-to-use software can move your day in the opposite direction.

So why isn’t all software easy-to-use? Having been involved in software development for over 30 years, I can tell you that building intuitive software requires time and expertise, just like providing quality medical care. It takes one set of skills and techniques to build software that meets technical requirements and a completely different set of skills and techniques to transform that software into a great user experience. Think about the doctor who is skilled at diagnosis but ignores bedside manner; it’s kind of like that.

Why am I writing about this in the ClearTriage blog? Because as Carol Rutenberg and Liz Greenberg argue in their book “The Art and Science of Telephone Triage”, telephone triage can be one of the most sophisticated and high-risk forms of nursing practiced today. It requires focus and critical thinking. Your triage software shouldn’t get in the way of that practice; it needs to support that practice.

So if you’re evaluating options for software using the Schmitt-Thompson protocols, make sure to consider three things:

  1. Features
  2. Costs
  3. Ease-of-Use

You and your team will be grateful you did so every time you take a triage call.

P.S. You can watch a 3-minute video showing how ClearTriage works or actually try it yourself right now. Why is it so hard to find a screenshot or video showing how other triage software works?

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