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3 Alert Fatigue Suggestions

Posted on April 23, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you will remember my previous post about Patient Alert Fatigue. Managing alert fatigue with patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is a really important subject. Let me offer some suggestions that will hopefully help those creating EMR and other healthcare software deal with alert fatigue.

These three simple suggestions will go along way to ensuring you don’t encounter alert fatigue: Provide Value, Meet Expectations, and Allow Customization.

Provide Value – It seems like a simple concept, but it’s extremely important. The key here is to avoid alerts that don’t provide value. The challenge is that it’s often hard to know which type of alert will provide value and which ones won’t. In the case of patients, you should probably error on the side of missing some alerts that could have provided value. In the case of doctors, you should probably error on the side of a few extra alerts that they can dismiss quickly if not appropriate.

Meet Expectations – Related to this is the impression you give the end user about the alerts. Have you created an expectation that they’ll get every alert? If that’s the case, then you better deliver on that expectation. However, if the end user realizes that the alerts won’t cover everything, then they will not depend on an alert. It’s the alert dependency that causes problems. Once someone expects an alert and you don’t deliver, you’re in deep trouble.

Allow Customization – As discussed above, each person has a different tolerance for alerts. So, allowing them to customize their alert preference is key. Plus, the next generation of digital natives are keenly aware of adjusting their alert preferences. This means that the need to be able to customize alert preferences is only going to grow. Plus, each institution has its own alert preferences as well. Over time I expect that healthcare’s alert preferences will become really sophisticated.

There’s a lot of art involved in managing alert fatigue. However, if you follow these three suggestions, you will go a long way to mastering the alert fatigue art.

Patient Alert Fatigue

Posted on April 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On this blog we’ve often covered the concept of physician alert fatigue. It’s a major challenge for EMR software providers to balance the alerts a doctor gets so they don’t just ignore the alerts all together. What makes this even more challenging is that every doctor reaches alert fatigue at a different point. One doctor might get fatigued and stop looking at the alerts very quickly while another doctor can handle a massive number of alerts and not get tired of looking at them.

I’m certain that physician alert fatigue battle will never stop. Although, I recently was introduced to another alert fatigue in healthcare. It is patient alert fatigue. With the growing number of smart phone apps in healthcare, this is going to become an ever growing problem. Soon patients will be getting health alerts from every angle. I expect that most patients are going to get fatigued very quickly.

Plus, like doctors, patients become fatigued at very different points. In fact, the variety of patients that are out there is much more complex than the physician community. This variety makes the challenge of adjusting the patient alert barometer that much harder.

As more and more healthcare institutions start leveraging patient alerts, they’re each going to need to be keenly aware of patient alert fatigue. If the alerts aren’t providing value to the patients quickly, then it won’t matter if you send the alert or not since many patients will stop reading them.