Electronic Health Records and Medical UI Design

One of the areas of Medical UI Design that gets little mention has been in electronic health records (EHR) implementation and management. Streamlining workflow with the use of electronic health records throughout a patient’s visit allows physicians their care center staff to have access to a patient’s necessary information at all times. EHR also promises to bring about significant improvements in health care, with major benefits to both providers and patients.

Some of the benefits of EHR systems are:
– Improved health care quality, efficiency, and safety
– Encouragement of patients to participate in their own care
– Protection of patient privacy and confidentiality
– Ease of collaboration between medical professionals treating the same patient
– Improvement in overall public health

In addition, a change in the U.S. HIPAA regulations states that if patient records are electronically maintained, those patients have to be given access to their records electronically. Because hospitals and large medical practices are already making the switch to electronic health records, a sizeable number of patients will suddenly have the ability to access their records if they chose to do so. As such, designing a clean, intuitive medical UI design for both health care personnel and their patients is paramount. Finding the compromise between the features and information that physicians require and making sure not to overload patients with unnecessary data can be a delicate balancing act. However, the reward is better coordinated care from admission to discharge that reduces the risk of harm for patients.

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