An Overhaul of the EHR System is the Need of the Hour

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Stanford Medicine in collaboration with The Harris Poll, published a study conducted on the complex relationship between doctors and primary caregivers and the EHR systems they make use of for their patients’ documentation.

This study revealed telling insights about the impact of EHR usage on doctor-patient interactions. Here’s a snapshot from the study –

With a single appointment with a patient lasting an average of 31 minutes, here’s how the doctors actually reported of having used their time.

It was evident that doctors, instead of focusing on the interaction with the patient, were

involuntarily thinking of what needed to be documented or navigating the complex EHR. As a result, the patients suffered, having to deal with preoccupied doctors. Half-hearted participation from the doctor caused an unsatisfactory interaction for the patient and caused a negative impact on a valued relationship.

Reforming EHR Systems

A global leader in healthcare IT, delivering quality care and industry-leading practice management solutions to 130,000 doctors and nurses and 850,000 medical professionals approached us to help design better interactions between doctors and patients. Their goal? To make them more personal and interactive.

The barrier to such an interaction was the complicated EHR system, which was in dire need of an upgrade. The brief they gave us was to create an EHR snapshot of the patient’s clinical details to enable the provider (user) to view the most important aspects of the patient’s health history in order to make the right diagnosis for the patient’s current visit.

This way, the doctors would be ensured of being able to see the relevant details of the patient at a glance, and not have to fumble with operating the intimidating system. They would also be able to indulge their patients in attentive conversation, which would enrich the quality of their interaction and lead to an informed diagnosis.

The Design Challenge

Common design challenges of working in healthcare technology include –

– Ensuring the security of patient data
– Complying with HIPAA guidelines

In addition to these, we had specific enhancements to cover –

– Slot patient data as per relevance
– Simplify the process of data entry

Design Process

Our design process is focused on improving usability, accessibility, and delight experienced during product interaction. Keeping the user in the center of the creative process leads us to create designs that are clutter-free, easy, intuitive, scalable, engaging and provide a fabulous experience to the users.

Our objective was to create a simplified snapshot of the patient’s vital details so as to enable the provider to process it in a short time and complete his intended action. We had to ensure that the provider remains more focused on the interaction with the patient, rather than be distracted by the overwhelming EHR usage.

The idea was to create an EHR tool that’s actually a source of assistance instead of being a source of intimidation.

All the while, we had to ensure that patient safety and compliance standards were fulfilled.

Here’s a detailed look at the design process we followed to arrive at an EHR that was quietly efficient, easy to navigate, and only managed to enhance doctor-patient interactions.

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