Over the last decade, the focus on customer or patient experience has increased greatly. Many dental practices are rethinking the patient experience and introducing new tools like portals to make life easier for clients. Focusing on patient experience is a good idea for practices but sometimes other areas are ignored in the pursuit of certain goals. While you are improving your patient experience, spare a thought to the work experience of your employees as well.
The Relationship between Workspace and Productivity
Workspace refers to the physical environment in which employees function. A lot of things go into creating a good workspace – the floor plan, the machinery, even the color of the walls. The sights, smells and sounds of any office can either contribute to the work experience or detract from it. In some ways, the workspace is even more crucial to the success of your clinic than any other aspect.
For the most part, your patients walk into your clinic a few times a year and spend maybe a handful of hours. But your employees have to show up for work every day. They spend the majority of their waking time in the office and you expect them to be productive at all times. The tools, software and hardware that they use on a regular basis will therefore have a large effect on their effectiveness.
The Importance of Good Looks in Any EHR
During the early days of EHR development, looks and design weren’t a high priority for developers. The emphasis was on adding more features or modules to the software. Few people gave any thought to how the application looked or how users would react to the interface. The industry has changed but practices generally do not think about good design when evaluating any EHR for their office.
Bad design in any software is a result of many factors. Developers continue to make common mistakes such as poorly thought out color choices. This has an impact on reading comprehension. If the text is not legible on the screen, employees have to spend more time entering data and correcting mistakes. A cluttered screen due to a lack of white space makes it more difficult to find the information users are looking for. Sometimes poor organization of data or functionality also means delays in retrieving data or finding the right tools for the job.
Poorly designed software can cause fatigue, eyestrain and mental stress. Your staff has to look at and work with the EHR throughout the day. Why would you want a system that users don’t like to work with?
Choose a Well Designed EHR For Your Practice
A good-looking EHR that is well designed offers many benefits. Your employees will like doing their job when the software is pleasing to the eye. There is less scope for eyestrain and stress. Well-designed software also contributes to shorter learning curves. If everything within the software is laid out logically and intuitively, it won’t take long for users to figure out the various workflows. Nobody will waste time in clicking buttons or opening multiple windows which is detrimental to efficiency.
There is no reason you should settle for a bad user interface when it is something that can dramatically change the productivity of your practice. User experience and design are no longer exclusive to expensive software. Even smaller EHR providers are paying attention to the design of their products. Make sure that good design and looks are part of the criteria when selecting an EHR for your office. Quite often, it’s easier to introduce new features than change the entire design of the application. Making the right choice in the beginning will pay off in the long-term.