Eight of ten people are unable to sign up for e-health records.

A user-centred design approach is a key to increasing PCEHR use, Navy Design.

Navy Design, a design firm specializing in medical software and health, has revealed that poor design and usability are key contributors to the low performance of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record.

Ollie Campbell from Navy Design stated that future products should be made with end-users. Navy Design believes that the record is too difficult to use now.

Navy Design used contextual inquiry to conduct its research. This involved visiting people at their homes and watching them sign up for the PCEHR. According to government marketing, creating an account should only take one minute.

Most participants signed up on their phones. The PCEHR does not support Android, even though more than half of Australian mobile devices use it.

He also stated that the signup process was too complicated.

Research by Navy Design found that general usability issues were also hindering users.

Although they had difficulty using the system at times, most participants were enthusiastic about e-health.

Most people saw the value in the idea, and many planned to continue the process with the help of their doctor. Statistics from Appleā€™s App store support this. 52% of 27 PCEHR app reviews are from users who wish to use it but cannot log in.

Campbell states that the most important lesson is to include users in the design process. We have tested a lot of these products. It was obvious that no one had ever done such research on the PCEHR before. It is possible to make a significant impact on the success of a project by investing in user-centred design early on. We believe that if this research had been done years ago, it would have substantially impacted the number of people who use the PCEHR today. There is still time to adopt a user-centred approach throughout the rollout. We spoke with people who saw the real value of the product. We believe the government must change how they approach design. It would be a good idea to include end users in the design process by conducting more testing of the PCEHR. This could be valuable input for the next iteration.

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