It’s not hard to make the case for why a hospital should want a system to manage service orders from referring physicians. The process of receiving and fulfilling orders for services like MRIs can be a time-consuming and costly affair if it’s not well-organized and automated. Order management systems like iOrder help facilities become efficient at handling orders by automating many of the process steps using software. With orders done right, though such a system, the hospital can cut its administrative costs for handling orders.

That said, not all order management systems are the same. Some are easier to use than others. Ease of use, which includes ease of acquisition and deployment, can make a significant difference in the overall business value of an order management system to the hospital that uses it.

Defining Ease of Use for Order Management Systems

Ease of use, in the case of order management systems, has a different meaning each set of system stakeholder. Ease of use for end users is not the same thing as ease of use for the IT department. However, both groups’ experiences are important to consider.

The end user group comprises the administrators, technicians and physicians who use the system to treat patients. For them, ease of use refers literally to how easy it is to use the system—how easy is it to learn, how quickly can someone become adept at using it, how many calls get made to the help line and so forth. This is largely based on the design quality of the user interface’ (UI). If the UI is intuitive and elegant, the system is usually easy to use.

The IT department has a different perspective. While IT staffers may like a simple, intuitive UI, they’re more concerned with how easy the system is to acquire, deploy and manage. Systems that are hard to set up and then fussy to maintain do not make life easy for IT. They tend to be expensive to manage over time. Indeed, money is a major dimension of ease of use from the IT perspective. A system that lacks ease of use will grab more than its fair share of the IT budget.

Why Ease of Use Matters

Ease of use matters for both end users and IT stakeholders. For end users, a system that’s difficult to master and hard to use may become subject to workarounds that undercut its value. For example, if the process of sending an order acknowledgement is overly complicated, then an admin may just send an email—outside the system—to acknowledge the order. If too many people start to use workarounds, the system will get neglected. This is an IT phenomenon known as “shelfware,” software that’s purchased but never used.

An order management system lacking in ease of use will cause several distinct business problems. For one thing, an under- or un-used system is a big waste of money. Nor will a system with sub-optimal ease of use achieve its business objectives of streamlining the order workflow. Anticipated cost reductions will not materialize. Referrer relationships will not improve.

How an Order Management System Delivers Ease of Use

iOrder is an example of a hospital order management system that delivers ease of use. iOrder focuses on your ambulatory business, delivering ease of use on the levels of end user and the IT department. Every hospital has an order management system, but few if any allow non-hospital owned physician groups to access. For end users, iOrder offers an intuitive UI that users have praised for its simplicity, as well as, for its intelligence-based decision support based on CPT codes for the specific services the hospital offers. It requires minimal training, a hallmark of ease of use. End users actively embrace iOrder in hospital settings, generating the business benefits promised by the technology.

From the IT perspective, iOrder is a web portal installed at the facility’s site. This deployment approach gives the facility the option of a turn-key solution that includes hardware and software or a software-only solution that utilizes the facility’s virtual or physical hardware. By hosting the solution on site, the system can take advantage of the facilities security protocols and firewall protection.

Financially the cloud model gets the hospital out of making a Capital Investment (CapEx) to acquire the system. Instead, the cloud model makes it possible to get the business benefits of iOrder as an Operating Expense (OpEx). For hospitals that want to conserve cash, this is a major benefit.

To learn how iOrder’s ease of use can make a difference in your healthcare business, visit