Having been part of innumerable product demonstrations, lots of customers feel it is the UI that matters more. The flashier the UI the more desirable and appealing an application seems but little do they consider - the UX. First let’s try and focus on what each UI and UX mean, considering that an EMR or a Hospital Management Software is an enterprise software application on which you would spend hours working on unlike a social media application.
UI or User Interface is the interactive piece an end-user has on the terminal running the software application. The UX is a superset of the UI + the overall user-experience which increases usability of the software application.
Lets take a look at the HMS from the perspective of User-Roles in a Hospital setting:
- Front Desk User: The UI consists of screens which display doctor calendars, the Patient Registration screen, Search etc. The Front Desk user’s UX though is defined by the reduced waiting time, quick turn around to patient queries on doctor availability, appointment statuses etc.
- Billing User: The UI consists of screens which display patient wise pending bills, orders, receipt prints etc. The UX would be defined by the turn around on the respective bill/receipt prints based on patient type, insurance type, credit/cash, payment type etc. How quickly is the user able to summarize revenue/collection reports counter wise, number of patient’s discharged, orders missed etc.
- Diagnostics User: The UI consists of screens which enable the user to collect sample, assert, conduct, enter results and generate the respective diagnostic report. The UX would be defined by the user’s ability to complete each discrete step, generate and alert the Medical Doctor for signing off the test and printing the reports.
- Doctor: The UI would consist of screens which capture the patient’s complaint, allergies, medical history, SOAP notes, diagnose and prescribe. The UX would be defined by how easy to use the application is even for a non-tech savvy clinician. Are there quick pick lists that reduce the need for typing, favourites and templates to use to facilitate data entry.
- Pharmacist: The UI would consist of screens which do pharmacy sales, indenting, GRN entry, reordering etc. The UX on the other hand is the user’s overall experience of managing stock in an efficient manner, reducing the cost of inventory, reorder management etc.
It is hence evident from some of the examples quoted above that it is not just the User Interface alone that is necessary which covers the entire feature rich application but also the consideration of the user-experience, to facilitate the user to engage with the application in a more productive and effective manner.