Archive for 2014


This entry is part 37 of 43 in the series Words

Let’s suppose it is 1980. Suppose someone shows up in your ED with a fever, and a history of travel to an area with a new plague characterized by fever. The nurse has heard about this on the news, asks the patient about travel to the area, and gets a “yes.” The nurse not only writes this on the paper […]


Fitts’s Law

This entry is part 35 of 43 in the series Words

Fitts’s Law has been known since Paul Fitts first proposed it in 1954. Wikipedia has a detailed exposition of Fitts’s Law. In essence, it says that “the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target.” “Targets that are smaller […]



This entry is part 26 of 43 in the series Words

In Icons, Pedagogic Vectors, Forms Design and Posture we briefly discussed icon design. (Icons, in this context, meaning the sketch-pictures on buttons that you can click.) The bottom line was that it’s hard to learn and remember what icons stand for. In Performance, Data Pixels, Location, and Preattentive Attributes we discussed how icons should be […]


Signal-to-Noise Ratio

This entry is part 27 of 43 in the series Words

I work at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. UPMC has prioritized IT, and compared with many other academic medical centers, the IT department is fairly well-funded and well-staffed. The central IT umbrella spreads wide, including 16 major hospitals and numerous other facilities. UPMC uses Cerner for an inpatient electronic medical record (EMR) (and for […]



This entry is part 44 of 43 in the series Words

The Master said: “When the noble man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to people of the Way and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can […]