Clinicians: how many times per day do you workaround a security issue with the computers you use to do your job? Whether it's ignoring a prompt that calls for a password, using a generic group login rather than your own, or canceling a message that tells you there's a "stack overflow" (or similar error), we all push through the friction in hospital computer systems to get work done...but should we? Better yet, are all of the tools of user design being employed to promote a better, more secure, functional experience for physician EMR users?
“Workarounds to computer access in healthcare are sufficiently common that they often go unnoticed. Clinicians focus on patient care, not cyber-security,” said Sean Smith and Vijay Kothari of Dartmouth College, Ross Koppela of the University of Pennsylvania and Jim Blythe of the University of Southern California. “Cyber-security efforts in healthcare settings increasingly confront workarounds and evasions by clinicians and employees who are just trying to do their work in the face of often onerous and irrational computer security rules. These are not terrorists or black hat hackers, but rather clinicians trying to use the computer system for conventional healthcare activities,” said the authors.