Whether it be the incorporation of artificial intelligence in diagnostic devices or the utilization of real-world data for patient follow-up and monitoring, digital technology completely revolutionized the field of healthcare and clinical trials. The introduction of modern technology resulted in significant breakthroughs in clinical trial programs, including faster patient recruitment, improved data collection procedures, and more efficient tracking and storage of critical documents.
However, the modernization of the clinical trial landscape also gave rise to unwanted challenges. “Click fatigue” is one of these significant challenges that engenders frustration, stress, and a sense of ineffectiveness among healthcare and clinical trial professionals.
What is click fatigue?
Click fatigue refers to the psychological manifestations arising from repetitive mouse button clicks in any computer-based task. It is primarily associated with implementing inefficient workflows that require multiple clicks to accomplish a relatively simple task. This inefficiency translates to frustration with technology, decreased job satisfaction, and burnout.
Within the clinical trial industry, click fatigue frequently arises when utilizing click-heavy, data-busy interfaces of electronic health records (EHRs) and other types of medical software. It can cause significant mental exhaustion and dissatisfaction for the clinical trial personnel.
The impact of click fatigue on healthcare professionals
Many physicians report spending a considerable amount of time clicking on pull-down menus and typing instead of interacting with their patients. According to a 2013 study, emergency department physicians spend approximately 43% of their time entering data into electronic medical records systems. The average number of mouse clicks during a busy 10-hour shift reaches up to 4,000.
The negative effect of the increased ‘click burden’ on the performance and efficacy of healthcare professionals is well-documented. A recent study involving ophthalmology residents found that the quality of documentation by the residents significantly decreased when they had to access an increased number of dialog boxes to record information. The authors attributed this reduced documentation to mouse-click fatigue and found that this phenomenon affected all residents, irrespective of their year in training. In another study, 70% of doctors using EHRs attributed their administrative burdens to their use of the software.
Overcoming click fatigue
Click fatigue can be a significant roadblock for clinical trial site personnel who must keep up with the increasing amount of technology used across various clinical trials. However, it is essential to understand that click fatigue is not entirely a flaw associated with the evolution of technology itself but rather a challenge that arises due to the inefficient implementation of technological processes. Several steps can be taken to streamline these processes and cut down the unnecessary clicks. We discuss some of these steps below:
- Implementation of user-friendly (UI/UX) interfaces: The design and implementation of digital tools that incorporate a clean, concise, and intuitive interface can limit the click count by reducing the number of screen changes, drop-down menus, and dialog boxes, leading to a decrease in the cognitive overload faced by the user and will result in improved efficiency.
- Integration and automation: Multiple non-integrated electronic tools force users to search for information scattered in various systems or enter the same information several times. In contrast, software that fully integrates with other applications is minimally interruptive and allows users to perform a task only once, reducing the workload and the associated click fatigue.
- Utilization of advanced technologies: The introduction of novel technologies powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing can help counter click fatigue. For instance, Yale’s School of Medicine found that allowing physicians to use their badges to log into EHRs, following a one-time login at the start of their workday, resulted in saving as much as 20 minutes a day. Similarly, the use of voice-recognition software to interact with EHRs lead to a 50% reduction in the time spent by physicians to enter patient data.
Ease your click fatigue with Clinical.ly!
Click fatigue is a harmful but entirely avoidable consequence of inadequate technology in the clinical research industry. At Clinical.ly, we are fully aware of the ill effects of click fatigue on the efficiency and productivity of clinical research staff and work tirelessly with our customers to stand up to this challenge.
With our customer-centered interface, easy integration with modern digital tools, and simple yet completely secure logins, Clinical.ly is the ideal platform to ensure the smooth running of clinical trials while simultaneously reducing the site personnel’s cognitive burden and click fatigue.
Drop us a line to learn more about our innovative solutions!