Usability Pyramid – How Does It Apply to EHR and Healthcare IT?

Posted on April 28, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I saw this wonderful usability pyramid come across my Twitter feed:

There’s so much we can learn in healthcare from this pyramid. I’m still chewing on whether the pyramid is the right way to display each of these 4 areas, but I love the way that it breaks it out into these 4 categories. Do they build on each other though?

As I look at these 4 categories of usability, I think that healthcare IT and EHR have done a pretty good job at the functional area. I also think that most of the advanced EHR users are able to work quickly in their EHR. In fact, it’s a complaint I often hear from EHR users that the EHR is so powerful that it takes forever to configure it. The experienced users love these extra configuration options.

I think very few EHR and healthcare IT companies have done a great job on the intuitive and beautiful side of usability. Many doctors think they can just pick up an EHR and start using it just like they did their iPad. This just isn’t the case. It requires a mix of configuration and training to make an EHR work effectively for an organization. Should it? I have yet to find an EHR where this isn’t the case.

I’d love to hear where people think various healthcare IT and EHR applications fit on this pyramid. Let’s hear it in the comments.