Article – At Healthcare Experience Design conference, designers rethink ‘broken processes’

In this article, the topic of user experience design in Electronic Medical Record (EMR) applications is explored. They also briefly discuss the use of EMR technology by patients.

Some thoughts…

  • The fact that EMR user interfaces are often hard-to-use, and are undesirable by the user community they are intended to serve, is not news. EMRs are often, at their core, records management systems, presenting medical records generated by other systems, or by users typing data into the EMR. It is no surprise that information is presented like a big electronic filing cabinet. Niche players are trying to layer solutions on top of the EMR to present the information relevant for a given interaction in a more meaningful way. Often, if the EMR is not built with an open architecture (with APIs for external applications to discover and access information), a copy of (some of) the data is kept in a secondary system. Hopefully, IHE FHIR succeeds and enables an integration ecosystem for EMR add-ons that is tantamount to the platform needed to have an “App Store”.
  • Designing applications for trained medical professionals is hard enough. Trying to build a user interface that makes sense to, and it optimized for the use by, both an Oncologist and my grandmother is near impossible. Medical terminology alone is enough to confuse most patients. Then consider the questions and concerns of the patient as they start to review their CT images and wonder what that little whitish spot might be. In this article, many of the docs surveyed expressed concern over patient access to their own electronic medical records (which is why Personal Health Records were created, friends).

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