Ugly Medical Records

Anyone who has worked with EMRs (electronic medical records) knows that they neither represent cutting-edge design nor user-friendliness.  As you might have guessed, research is showing that they are not saving time and money as hoped (for more info please read In Second Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records.)

I found a source for optimism, however, though in an article published last month in The Atlantic, The Future of Medical Records, which highlights a challenge to re-imagine the health record. The entries are inspiring and give me hope that someday I will work in a setting that boasts such user friendly design.  

I was also inspired by the reminder that one of the goals of EMRs is to make records more accessible to patients. While this is not happening in a widespread manner yet, I think the industry is slowly heading this way. I look forward to clients becoming even more involved in the occupational therapy process and to the upcoming challenge of crafting notes that are empowering to patients. 

Above is a sample of the 2nd place best overall design by William Brian Smith and Leigh Salem from Studio TACK- see the complete record here.