Category Archives: Healthcare Usability

Perfecting Military Medical Solutions

Soldier uses handheld device to capture injury information on the battlefieldView an amazing collection of new military healthcare devices in the battlefield!
“With the growing swiftness and capability of today’s technology, medical tools are increasing in their specificity to meet military healthcare needs. The combat environment calls for particular solutions; on the battlefield, where time is of essence, military healthcare providers need the right implement, at the right time. With extensive research and the integration of the latest civilian technology, innovators are finally poised to meet these needs.”
I have designed healthcare systems for many years and have ridden in ambulances and flown in air rescue helicopters conducting user research in the process of designing usable hardware and software healthcare systems. It is rewarding to see healthcare technology making an impact in the military, especially on the battlefield. Watch this 12-photo slide show with interest!

EMR Vendors Stress Usability to Attract Physicians

Going back to my beginnings in the new field of building “user-friendly” software in the early 1980’s, usability began a long history as a potential product differentiator in a competitive field. Now, with the onset of a multitude of EMR software programs coming to market now and in the next few years, software vendors areContinue Reading

EMR Usability – Standardization vs Usability and Innovation

This is a classic debate – whether it is nobler to be consistent or to be usable! EMRs have notoriously been both inconsistent and also very unusable. So, what to do – fix the inconsistencies or fix the usability issues? The problem is, fixing one of these issues doesn’t necessarily fix the other! Here’s anContinue Reading

NIST, ONC plan measures, testing to improve health IT usability

I’ve worked in healthcare usability for a long time and with the impetus to move all of healthcare to electronic platforms, there have been many, many unusable implementations of EHRs and EMRs. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and  Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) are working to provide guidelines forContinue Reading

Healthcare Experience Design Conference – Boston, Mass – April 11, 2011

As a user experience professional designing EMR, EHR and case management software in the healthcare industry, there are few opportunities to educate, learn, network and focus on UX in healthcare. Well, look no longer!! I’m excited to hear about the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, Mass, on April 11, 2011. Here’s a summary ofContinue Reading

Why are User Experience (UX) and User-Centered Design (UCD) getting a bad rap?

There have been a number of recent articles, blog posts and list comments trashing user experience design (UX) as unneeded, misguided and counter-productive to good product design and development. As a long-time user experience practitioner, I was taken aback by these attack from many sides. However, as my partner at Success PragmatiQ, Larry Marine, and IContinue Reading

Healthcare IT News: Health 2.0 2010 Developer Challenge

This is a wonderful community effort! The Health 2.0 2010 Developer Challenge was launched on June 2nd, 2010 at the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) meeting at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), with support from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here’s what it’s all about: Health 2.0’s original tag line of ‘user-generatedContinue Reading

Electronic Pill Bottle Cap Increases Medication Use, Study Says

Finally, technologists provide enhancements to healthcare usability! Usability of medicine pill bottles, that is!! I work on the usability of healthcare software systems. I’m glad to see that usability professionals are also working on medical devices and other areas of people’s life impacted by their health. Here’s a summary of the study: Experimental electronic pillContinue Reading

Healthcare wants a tablet, but not Apple’s iPad

Since the introduction of the iPad, everyone has wondered if this is the ultimate tablet platform. However, one industry that has been using tablet computers for many years – the healthcare industry – does not necessarily think the iPad is the bee’s knees. Here’s the survey results from February 2010: “Last week, during the feverContinue Reading

Improving the Patient Experience (Bridget Duffy, Gel Health ’09)

Bridget Duffy Former Chief Experience Officer Cleveland Clinic After breaking her leg, Bridget Duffy got a close look at the patient experience – by being a patient herself. At the first Gel Health conference, Bridget discusses what she learned – and what has inspired her, throughout her career, to advocate for improved patient experience. ThisContinue Reading

Healthcare Usability: Physician Resistance to German e-health Cards

While hospitals are implementing EMRs throughout Germany, they are resisting the German government’s push to roll out health cards for individuals. So far, they have refused to purchase the systems necessary to read the cards, saying that the paper process works better and faster for them. “The concern, as voiced by many health IT professionals,Continue Reading

IBM Security Software can Help Healthcare Security/Privacy Concerns

Promising new technology can help attack healthcare security and privacy problems ____________________ IBM Security Software Masks Confidential Info Network World (07/09/09) Cooney, MichaelIBM researchers have developed Masking Gateway for Enterprises (MAGEN), software that uses optical character recognition and screen scraping technology to identify and conceal confidential information. IBM says MAGEN can prevent data leakage andContinue Reading

Hospital system tries letting patients read physicians’ notes

Electronic medical records and a push for consumer involvement make it more acceptable — and imperative — to release more information, say Beth Israel project backers. Interesting study on how to improve the patient-physician experience. Also interesting to see the negative reactions by physicians: When Lisa Gilbert, MD, an internist at Beth Israel, was askedContinue Reading

Usability of Electronic Medical Records

CHICAGO (July 1, 2009)

Healthcare IT: Vested Interest in Inefficiency?

A Pound of Cure: The federal government is about to spend big on healthcare IT. Too bad the medical industry has a vested interest in inefficiency. Provocative article about the inability of the healthcare industry to move forward with critical software and technology upgrades. Worth a read. >> View Article

Continued Usability Problems in Patient-Doctor Communication

Yet another stumbling block in the ongoing struggle to build Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and the effort to improve patient-doctor communication – people don’t know their own anatomy!! A study of patients and members of the public has shown that most lack even basic knowledge of human anatomy. The research, featuredContinue Reading

Tufts Summer Institute on Web Strategies for Health Communication

An interesting course on healthcare web strategies and usability. For more information, contact: Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Ph.D. Adjunct Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine Blog on health: Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine, Blog on education: Phone: 781-861-7373 Email: Enroll in the Tufts Summer Institute on Web Strategies for Health Communication,, toContinue Reading

The Future of Doctor-Patient Interaction in Healthcare

Interesting video on YouTube of Microsoft Surface and the healthcare application Amalga. “Captured at HIMSS09, one of the core developers for Microsoft Amalga walks through the application. The health care industry has a complete aspect of new technologies and processes to see in the future. The PHR product Microsoft HealthVault is also featured.” As aContinue Reading

National Healthcare Initiative and Usability

Big Challenges Await Health Records Transition David Blumenthal (the new National Coordinator for Health IT) and Mark Leavitt (the chair of their certification commission) are suggesting in the Wall Street Journal (4/22/2009) that user experience be included in the certification criteria for electronic health records (EHRs) that will be eligible for $17 billion in federalContinue Reading

UW Medical Center using surgical checklist to improve safety

Good article on the use of checklists in healthcare to reduce errors during surgery. Here’s a taste: Wednesday, WHO officials said preliminary results show the checklist nearly doubled patients’ chances of receiving proven standards of surgical care and substantially reduced complications and deaths. “It seems totally obvious,” Flum says. “They’ve been doing this in aviationContinue Reading