This paper provides a framework for evaluating healthcare software from a usability perspective. The framework is based on a review of both the healthcare software literature and the general literature on software usability and evaluation. The need for such a framework arises from the proliferation of software packages in the healthcare field, and from an historical focus on the technical and functional aspects, rather than on the usability, of these packages. Healthcare managers are generally unfamiliar with usability concepts, even though usability differences among software can play a significant role in the acceptance and effectiveness of systems. Six major areas of usability are described, and specific criteria which can be used in the software evaluation process are also presented.