Usability Evaluation of Laboratory and Radiology Information Systems Integrated into a Hospital Information System

  • Ehsan Nabovati
  • Hasan Vakili-Arki
  • Saeid Eslami
  • Reza Khajouei
Systems-Level Quality Improvement
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Systems-Level Quality Improvement


This study was conducted to evaluate the usability of widely used laboratory and radiology information systems. Three usability experts independently evaluated the user interfaces of Laboratory and Radiology Information Systems using heuristic evaluation method. They applied Nielsen’s heuristics to identify and classify usability problems and Nielsen’s severity rating to judge their severity. Overall, 116 unique heuristic violations were identified as usability problems. In terms of severity, 67 % of problems were rated as major and catastrophic. Among 10 heuristics, “consistency and standards” was violated most frequently. Moreover, mean severity of problems concerning “error prevention” and “help and documentation” heuristics was higher than of the others. Despite widespread use of specific healthcare information systems, they suffer from usability problems. Improving the usability of systems by following existing design standards and principles from the early phased of system development life cycle is recommended. Especially, it is recommended that the designers design systems that inhibit the initiation of erroneous actions and provide sufficient guidance to users.


Developing countries Evaluation study Hospital information system Laboratory information system Radiology information system User-computer interface Usability evaluation 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

The authors would like to thank Amirabbas Azizi for its assistance in the study.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehsan Nabovati
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hasan Vakili-Arki
    • 1
  • Saeid Eslami
    • 3
    • 6
  • Reza Khajouei
    • 4
    • 5
    • 7
  1. 1.Student Research Committee, Department of Medical Informatics, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Department of Health Information Management/Technology, School of Allied Health ProfessionsKashan University of Medical SciencesIranIran
  3. 3.Department of Medical Informatics, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Medical Informatics Research Centre, Institute for Futures Studies in HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  5. 5.Department of Health Information Management and Technology, Faculty of Management and Medical Information SciencesKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  6. 6.Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  7. 7.Medical Informatics Research CenterKermanIran

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