Thought Leadership

Gamification and the diagnosis of Learning Disabilities

Last week during one of our favorite tweetchats (#HITSM -- Fridays at 12noon Eastern) the topic of gamification in Healthcare came up.

Gamification has been a fairly hot topic for a few years now, and many industries are scrambling to understand it, and to find ways that they can use gamification to improve client engagement in their product(s)

Wikipedia defines Gamification as

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.

Hick’s and Fitt’s laws: Two important psychological principles to consider when designing navigational menu structures

Most web-based or mobile applications are organized in some type of hierarchical menu structure. Company information is usually located in an ‘about us’ tab, Products and Services each have a tab, etc.

Some company websites, for example, provide a menu structure that is initially simple, but then may require several more interactions to navigate down the tree to the target information.

See for example Verizon.com:

Jean Piaget & the Usability of Healthcare Software

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theories of cognitive development helped pioneer the field of developmental psychology and influenced generations of elementary school curriculum.

The usability of healthcare software, or lack thereof, has been a topic of discussion for several years. The problem has become so widespread that the American Medical Association (AMA) has recently issued a framework for improving the ease of use of EHRs that, in part, includes the reduction of 'cognitive load.'

Section 508 and User-Centered Design

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

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

By thinking about a disabled user and designing a solution that works for them, developers adopt a user-centered design strategy without even knowing it.

It is an excellent foot-in-the-door for designing for an admin user, a casual user, the sales team, an expert user, and many of other personas associated with the solution.

How to choose a usable Electronic Health Record (EHR) system

The usability of the system is the probably 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?

The myth of too many clicks

We have seen a number of recent blog posts and tweets complaining about EHRs having ‘too many clicks.’ (and a great video on youtube by ZDoggMD http://zdoggmd.com/ehr-state-of-mind/ '30 clicks for an Ambien?')

A number of people have proclaimed that reducing the number of clicks in an EHR as a method to improve EHR Usability. Multiple clicks are not a deterrent to usability and user satisfaction, in fact there are many occasions where having more clicks may actually improve usability.

Please don’t air our dirty laundry!

Before running the summative usability evaluation for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design we recommend that EHR vendors begin working with a usability expert to identify possible usability issues before they are exposed as “dirty laundry” in a formal report.

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