Have Your Say: The First National Clinical Software Usability Survey

A clinical system is more than just recording somewhere what we do. It is a medico-legal document. It holds our patient’s medical records and it provides us with the information we need to help shape our clinical assessments and interventions. The usability of a clinical system is the most fundamental aspect of its uptake and usefulness. It is more than just the ease of its use. When we evaluate usability of a system we need to consider how effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant and easy to learn it is.  

The Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) Network and Digital Health Intelligence are conducting a Clinical Software Usability Study (CSUS). The CSUS is a six month pilot project, running to 31st March 2016, to explore the potential for collecting and publishing usability ratings data on the clinical systems in use in the NHS. (To read more visit http://usability.digitalhealth.net/)

This aim of the survey is to provide clinicians with an opportunity to rate the systems they use on a regular basis. This is the first time a usability survey has been carried out nationally across all areas of the NHS, covering the main electronic patient record and clinical systems currently in use. The results of this survey will benefit all members of the healthcare system, including CCIOs, clinical end users, patients and suppliers.

The survey consists of:

  • The Software Usability Survey (SUS) – A proven usability tool, chosen to enable comparisons between health and other sectors (ten questions).
  • The Clinical Software Usability Survey (CSUS) – A brand new clinical systems survey, developed through consultation with the CCIO Network (five questions).

As clinicians, this is a great opportunity to have a say about the systems we use on a daily basis. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by clicking on the link below:


The information will be collated and used to develop a website similar to Trip Advisor. The website will be launched in Autumn 2016 and will provide clinicians with reviews of medical software and a platform to share experiences of using these different systems.

Clinicians need to be at the heart of clinical system development to make sure the systems are aligned with the way we deliver, document and communicate patient care. I hope that this website becomes a network for productive and collaborative engagement with other users and also the suppliers. This is an opportunity for us take a clinical lead on how clinical systems are designed and developed.

Please take the time to have your say! 

Melissa Andison


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