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Medical Software: Designing for Frustration
One of the biggest issues plaguing medical software is design. And not just visual design, but interaction design and user experience design. It’s an unfortunate truth, but medical software is difficult to use, and because of this, medical professionals have come to believe that medical software will only create frustration.

Unfortunately, many of the products that medical professionals use are unintuitive and frustrating. This, in turn, leads to the perception that most medical software is bad. Whenever I work with doctors and their staff, I always like to ask about their current process and the software they use on a daily basis. For the most part, the conversation will turn into a story about a poorly designed EMR, frustrated staff, and thousands of dollars down the drain.

Poorly designed medical software wastes medical professionals’ time. This is frustrating for doctors and staff, whose days are already filled with important and time-sensitive tasks. The moment they use software that is unintuitive and not easily navigable, they have lost time with their patients. This is frustrating for patients. Practices try to mitigate this problem by hiring additional staff to manage the poorly designed software. This is frustrating for practices. Once doctors, staff, and patients have an experience with clunky software, they have an aversion to any medical software. This is frustrating for everyone.

I see these frustrations as opportunities, not because I take pleasure in other people’s misfortune, but because I know I can make their lives a little bit easier. At pMD, we create software that makes doctors happy. I’m not just saying that because I work for the company, I’m saying that because I’ve seen it.

It is important to properly plan the functionality of software. We spend countless hours working with our customers to create the perfect software for their needs that is intuitive and easy to use. Intuitive software leads to less frustration, and less frustration leads to happy customers.