3 Principles Guiding Product Design at Semantic Health

Incorporating software into traditionally manual coding & audit processes to increase efficiency and accuracy requires a deep appreciation for coders’ workflows and expertise.  Semantic Health’s product design process, by which key principles guide the creation of the best software product to meet the needs of our end-users, has been carefully considered from this perspective. 

At Semantic Health, we understand that big changes rely on the small details. Want to know how we are building the future of digital health data? 

At the forefront of our work, three principles guide our efforts:

  • Key Performance Indicators and Data-informed Decision Making
  • Usability and User Experience 
  • Quality Assurance

These principles are essential in guiding our product design process to create a high-quality software experience for our end-users.

Major hospitals across Canada and the US are currently using the Semantic Health Information Platform to revolutionize their coding and auditing processes to improve overall data quality and save time and money. This digital health transformation is rooted in a product that is purpose-built in collaboration with end-users. 

"At Semantic Health, we best suit the needs of our customers by starting with the desired customer experience and working backwards to a product that delights." - Ryan Doan, Vice-President of Technology at Semantic Health 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Data-Informed Decision Making

Using a customer-centric focus, Semantic Health seeks stakeholder involvement as foundational feedback for product design. This helps achieve data-informed decision-making by aligning organizational goals, stakeholder requirements, and our product roadmap. 

In parallel, we benchmark and collect various KPIs to provide data so that incentives can align across the board and decision-making processes can be validated. One example of this is our ability to capture the following metrics, among many others, at each hospital site:  

  • Average coding time spent per chart
  • Average chart transition/completion time
  • Average acceptance rate of Semantic Health coding suggestions 

Using KPIs, Semantic Health and its stakeholders are able to ensure that our software is performing and adding value to coding and auditing teams. In turn, we are able to ensure that coders and auditors can do their work faster and more accurately. These indicators are at the forefront of our product design and attribution to amplify the user experience and increase usability.

Usability and User Experience 

At Semantic Health, our product is built not just with end-users in mind but in collaboration with coders and auditors. Our user-first approach ensures usability and user experience is a priority from the beginning of all product efforts, where key requirements lead the implementation of our software to ensure optimal performance in each hospital integration. As a result, steps must be taken to execute plans and achieve the highest quality of software that is in line with user experience. This process drives the creation of functional software that is built on key requirements on an individual hospital basis to ensure that current coding and auditing challenges are mitigated, the workload is reduced, and efficiencies are created. 

From a user experience perspective, customer feedback informs product functionality/appearance and provides insight into what is working and ways to continually improve the product. From easier navigation of patient records to customizability around the identification of particular notes, our user experience has been built out with coders' and auditors’ workflows in mind to ease the process. 

Quality Assurance 

Quality assurance is at the core of all product efforts at Semantic Health. To ensure the quality of our software we  grade all releases against axes of quality up until and after product updates are released: 

The key axes of quality that we use at Semantic Health are the following: 

  • Usability: Effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.
  • Reliability: Availability and recoverability of the system.
  • Performance: Responsiveness and stability.
  • Functionality: Capabilities of the system.
  • Supportability: Testability, maintainability, and scalability.
  • Observability: Logging, monitoring, and alerting.
  • Security: Authentication, authorization, and encryption.

These axes act as a basis for a well-functioning product that our end users are happy with. By prioritizing usability and functionality we are able to successfully maintain user satisfaction while ensuring that our software acts as a secure platform that hospitals are able to utilize to meet all coding and auditing needs. 


Semantic Health aims to create impactful software that drives efficiencies for end-users. Key principles in achieving a high-quality product and improving the user experience at Semantic Health are KPIs and data-informed decision making, usability and user experience, and quality assurance. The basis of these principles has resulted in success in leading hospitals and has enabled our organization to continually deliver a product that meets the demand for coding and auditing improvements and efficiencies. The impact of our efforts is a product that satisfies our users and a team that continually delivers and improves our software across the board. 

How would you benefit from a product purpose-built in collaboration with your team?

About Semantic Health

Semantic Health helps hospitals and health systems unlock the true value of their unstructured clinical data. Our intelligent medical coding and auditing platform uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to streamline medical coding & auditing concurrent with patient admission, improve documentation quality, optimize reimbursements, and enable real-time access to coded data for secondary analysis.

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