Extreme Design Makeover: Patient Record Edition

We talk a lot about design at Rock Health. We’ve supported many designer founders, and through our partnership with Cooper, provide a rigorous design curriculum to all of the startups that go through our program. Our weekly workshops also emphasize human-centered design, putting user needs on equal footing with properly constructing a product’s back end. It should come as no surprise then that we would support and encourage conversation around this topic as it pertains to patient engagement and rights at the government level, with the medical record sitting squarely at the center of this first focus.

Today’s medical records are neither patient-friendly or easily understood by sometimes even the smartest among us. There’s no thought given to information design, or making each element clear and understandable. Worse yet, these oversights actually lead to medical errors and missed opportunities for patients to understand their conditions, and allow for better decision-making around treatments. All of which is why we’re thrilled to be part of extreme design makeover: patient record edition, led by Rock Health alum and Presidential Fellow Ryan Panchadsaram.

In partnership with the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we’re inviting designers across the country to rethink how the medical record is visually presented over the course of the next six weeks. At the end of the competition, an expert panel of curators, including yours truly, will select the most compelling designs which will then be exhibited in Washington D.C., and online, to inspire the industry at large to do better. Best of all? The winning design will be open sourced on Github, so it’s available for any designer, developer or otherwise enthusiastic community member’s use. Electronic medical record companies will be able to integrate it and contribute back to the code base, and patients everywhere will have the opportunity to interact with a more thoughtful, beautiful record of their vital health information.

If you’d like to join Rock Health, the Designer Fund, California HealthCare Foundation and Luxr to make the health record more beautiful and usable, you can learn more at http://healthdesignchallenge.com. The call for submission ends on November 30, 2012, and you can follow updates on @ProjectBlueBtn. Hope to see your designs up there.