Thought Leadership

Here is how to choose and more usability Electronic Medicar Record (EMR) system

The usability of the system is probably the most important factor in making an informed choice of which EHR to use for your practice. Most every bit of software says that it is easy to use, but how can you choose an EHR that is actually usable?

Cigarette smoking and the ROI of Design Thinking

Analogies have been a major part of how we explain usability, user experience and/or design thinking to audiences and clients (and potential clients). Many of these analogies involve automotive technology ( see e.g. Crash-test dummies and the Usability of EHRs ).

Accessability (#A11y) and Usability are BFF's

We've often blogged about Section 508 compliance as a means to convince very engineering-centric developers to consider their users.

While watching the video feed from the recent ONC annual conference we were very glad to see the closed captions because we were able to watch and understand while multitasking on one of THOSE conference calls that seemed to go on and on forever.

Accessible designs work for everyone - see also Universal Design. Ever use a curb-cut?

An ounce of prevention -- is worth a pound of cure

Residents in the commonwealth of Virginia must take their car for a “safety inspection” each year. The test criteria is published by the state and it is fairly easy to determine in advance if your car is going to pass the inspection. Before you take your car for inspection, first you make sure that all lights are functional, the tires all have proper tread, the windshield wipers are working, etc. If you find anything, you make a small fix BEFORE going to the inspection station and will save the hassle of dealing with a failed test. An ounce of prevention.


Many EHRs really do suck, as ZDoggMD described in his very popular parody video 'EHR state of Mind'. But without some nudge towards an improved user experience many of the "less than optimal" EHRs will only get worse as they grow and Engineering-centric developers add more and more features on top of a poorly designed information architecture.

Vehicles are not allowed to be sold in the USA unless they have meet strict safety standards, why isn't this the same for EHRs?

Don't like 30 clicks to order Ambien? How about 50!

Disable; Hide, or Grey Out?

While working on a UX strategy for a large enterprise data portal, we recently had an interested conversation with some developers around, based upon permissions, when to show things, when to hide things and when to show things as disabled or “greyed out.”

Design for the users--not the requirements

Quick thought:

Use the persona’s to create realistic use cases based upon the real user's needs that you understand based upon your research. Usability people often call these use cases “user journey maps.”

Now, when you design your app, website or software product to engage the person that has to use it every day-- around their tasks (and not merely to satisfy regulatory requirements) the end users/patients will find the information presented to be easy to understand, useful to them, and they will freely engage with your system.