Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Health care record needs cited at an IBM conference

Healthcare needs better UI's as it move toward computers ...

"User interface issues, restrictions, and ways to make efficient use of databases instead of paper records get discussed at IBM workshop

Computerization of health care record keeping remains both a need and a challenge, said IT and health care dignitaries at an IBM-sponsored conference in San Jose, Calif. on Monday.

IBM's New Paradigms for Using Computers 2007 workshop focused on health care interfaces. Previous years' workshops have covered such topics as Web 2.0 and mobile computing.

"Health care is moving in the direction of computerization, but there's so many difficult issues in the user interface in particular that have not been addressed," said John Barton, manager of Interaction Science at IBM.

Right now, health care is plagued by bad interfaces, said Paul Tang, vice president and chief medical officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif.

"It's really driving under the influence of terrible interfaces," he said.

Tang cited studies that estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths per year in the United States resulting from medical mismanagement in hospitals. Patient safety would be enhanced by having better information available, he stressed. Information is fragmented. "There's almost no way a single individual could put this stuff together," but health depends on it, he said.

Rather than just throwing computers at what are now paper processes, ethnography would help in figuring out what information is needed, said Tang."    (Continued via InfoWorld)    [Usability Resources]

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