The need for improved usability in healthcare IT has been widely recognized. In addition, methods from usability engineering, including usability testing and usability inspection have received greater attention. Many vendors of healthcare software are now employing usability testing methods in the design and development of their products. However, despite this, the usability of healthcare IT is still considered to be problematic and many healthcare organizations that have purchased systems that have been tested at vendor testing sites are still reporting a range of usability and safety issues. In this paper we explore the distinction between commercial usability testing (conducted at centralized vendor usability laboratories and limited beta test sites) and usability testing that is carried out locally within healthcare organizations that have purchased vendor systems and products (i.e. public 'in-situ' usability testing). In this paper it will be argued that both types of testing (i.e. commercial vendor-based testing) and in-situ testing are needed to ensure system usability and safety.
- human computer interaction
- usability testing