“Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding.” Burt RutanHealthcare is the next growth frontier for software solutions because of the benefits and cost-savings it brings to a traditionally paper-run industry. Healthcare providers and their partners are increasingly adopting digital healthcare software platforms, and this is ushering in an era of rising healthcare quality and falling healthcare cost. It’s about time. We’ve all heard the infamous reports lambasting the healthcare systems for excessive spending while failing to live up to high standards of care. Well, digital healthcare solutions have come to save the day! The digital health solutions I am referring to in this article include all types of interconnected health systems that aid healthcare professionals and patients manage illness and health care risk as well as promote health. These include Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), ePrescribing where prescriptions can be sent directly to pharmacies electronically, patient portal where patients can access their health records and communicate with doctors etc. Having said this, the adoption of digital healthcare solutions has been bumpy because many platforms are complex and difficult to navigate. To smooth out these bumps, digital healthcare software must become more user-friendly and healthcare professionals must know how to use these platforms correctly. Usability in Digital Healthcare Software is a Critical Factor When examining usability I look at the following principles highlighted by computer science Professor Ben Shneiderman and Dr. Jakob Nielsen: 1. Learnability. The ease with which users can accomplish basic tasks the first time they use the solution. 2. Efficiency. The speed with which users can perform tasks once they are familiar with the solution. 3. Memorability. The ease of “getting back up to speed” after a period of not using the solution. 4. Errors. The number of user-made errors, their severity and the ease with which they can be corrected. 5. Satisfaction. User ratings of how much they enjoy using the solution. The adherence of digital healthcare software to these usability metrics has particular importance in the healthcare sector because the consequences of errors can be grave. There have been serious unintended consequences that have risen out of the improper usage of digital healthcare solutions that jeopardize the integrity of patient health information and thus decrease quality of care. Improper system use is oftentimes the result of the complexity of the system, a user interface that may not be 100% user-friendly and the limitations of the user. Especially because of the pressure to rapidly adopt these systems, human error is a problem that must be curbed.