Healthcare that works: How human-centered design aligns people, processes and technology

In the United States today, we are living through a dramatic transformation of healthcare. The move to compensation based on outcomes, electronic health records (EHR), telemedicine and patient self-reporting/tracking are intended to motivate patients to play a larger part in their healthcare. Yet, despite a projected $22 billion dollars spent in our country to continue the move to electronic health records in 2015, few would say we are delivering patient-centered experiences.

While the intent and money are there, the experience seems as overwhelming as ever. This is true not only for patients, but also for doctors and nurses, who report general dissatisfaction with the systems intended to support and improve patient outcomes.

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Health Services, “American doctors are drowning in paperwork.” Rather than the systems working for them, many doctors perceive themselves to be working for the systems. 

In a recent New York Times opinion piece “Why Health Care Tech is Still So Bad,” Dr. Robert Wachter recounts how a young patient was given a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic due to a screen’s confusing setting to “milligrams per kilogram.” What was most disturbing about this was alarms had been going off, yet were ignored. Why? Because in his own hospital, he estimated health providers were subject to some 2.5 million false alarms every month. 

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human-centered design, Story+Structure

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