Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: The allure of interoperable systems is that they should improve patient safety and make health services more efficient. The UK's National Programme for IT has made great strides in achieving interoperability; through linkage to a national electronic spine. However, there has been criticism of the usability of the applications in the clinical environment. Method: Analysis of the procurement and assurance process to explore whether they predetermine usability. Results: Processes separate developers from users, and test products against theoretical assurance models of use rather than simulate or pilot in a clinical environment. The current process appears to be effective for back office systems and high risk applications, but too inflexible for developing applications for the clinical setting. Conclusions: For clinical applications agile techniques are more appropriate. Usability testing should become an integrated part of the contractual process and be introduced earlier in the development process. © 2010 European Federation for Medical Informatics. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Studies in Health Technology and Informatics

Publication Date





143 - 149