The form fields that are selected for each question will determine the quality of a form and the quality of the data you collect in your EHR software. It’s important that you understand each of the different field types to make sure you’re selecting the one that works best for your purposes.
More is not always better – just think of the last time you walked into someone’s house and were overwhelmed by how much stuff they had. Maybe their walls were cluttered with pictures or their shelves were cluttered with knick knacks. They may have had a great photograph or a priceless knick knack in their collection as well, but they were lost in the clutter and went unnoticed.
It’s a similar concept with display only text. This field gives you the ability to put text on your forms without any data capture or reporting implications. But it still has an impact on the overall user experience of your form – you don’t want it to feel like walking into that cluttered house.
How to Include Display Text – The Right Way
You want to limit the amount of display text you include because it can make your form appear too cluttered. But, if used correctly, it can enhance your user experience.
Provide Short Help Text
This can be used to remind users of the thought processes that drive the field they are filling out. This is particularly helpful when a field is more complex and has multiple parts.
Avoid Anchor Drift
To ensure that clinicians are accurately portraying their clients, you want to prevent anchor drift. This happens when clinicians subconsciously give their clients better scores to outcomes measurement tools because they want them to get better.
You can use display text to combat this issue by including reminders of the anchors that determine the scoring value throughout the form, so that they don’t anchor off the previous score, which can cause scores to artificially inflate because then clinicians want to see improvement for the client. There is nothing wrong or unnatural about this tendency,
but you want to use all the tools at your disposal to limit this phenomenon.
When the user is consistently being reminded of what each score represents, they are less likely to inflate the score they give to their clients.
Using display only text in these ways will provide a better user experience – just make sure it’s not too cluttered.