Thought Leadership


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.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

A Foolish Consistency?

We recently enrolled in a “designer lite” onsite course at leading Business Process Management (BPM) vendor’s location. It had been quite a while since I was a student in such as class--usually I’ve been the one teaching classes. It was nice to be in the passenger seat this time and see via their established curriculum the development environment for their BPM.

EHR usability Gap - Specified Context of Use

The efficient and effective use of Electronic Health Records are essential, as these systems are increasingly becoming a central tool for patient care.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provided providers with a significant financial incentive to increase the adoption and use of EHRs. EHR vendors were required to conduct and report on a summative usability evaluation of their system as part of the Stage 2 Meaningful Use program (The ONC 2014 Edition Certification) and beyond. However, a recent report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), identified several “issues” with the certified EHR vendors in the processes, practices and use of standards and best practices with regard to usability and human factors.

What happened to Apple's commitment to quality?

I just finished downloading and installing yet another update to the operating system on my Macbook.

People pay a premium price for Apple products and reasonably expect to receive a superior product. A MacBook pro costs $1,299. A comparable HP laptop (the EliteBook 745 ) starts at $749. A 9.7 inch iPad Pro (with 32GB of storage) costs $599, while a 9.7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 with 32GB is $499.

Auto bumpers and HealthIT Interoperability

Ralph Nadar's book Unsafe At Any Speed raised public awareness of some of the safety problems associated with the Chevrolet Corvair.  Nadar’s book, however, was also an indictment of the auto industry as a whole and served as a lightning rod for legislation establishing what would eventually become the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

These two industries, HealthIT and automobiles have quite a lot in common including that they are both highly regulated.  These regulations exist because in both industries poor design can lead to safety issues and the possible death of their user’s.