Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 17, no. 6 (October 2010): 617-623.
I think this is a neat paper, and I say “neat” because it provides fertile ground for much conversation around health information technology – are we doing it right? Are vendors and designers really designing the way they should be? Are we paying attention/do we care about the outcomes?
The paper’s fallicies have been discussed in reviews from different perspectives (Health Care Renewal and HIStalk), so I won’t re-cover them (well okay, I will agree with, “don’t knock paper, it serves a purpose”).
Instead, I want to highlight this quote, mentioned as Grudin’s law:
When those who benefit from a technology are not those who do the work, then the technology is likely to fail or be subverted.
…and this quote, with my emphasis in bold
Specifically, success … will require greater emphasis on providing cognitive support for health care providers and for patients and family caregivers.
I don’t often see literature about Electronic Health Records that speaks of their need to facilitate the thinking of patients and family caregivers, and I like that and I like Grudin’s law.
The authors recognize that
- patients are key beneficiaries and sufferers of well designed/poorly designed health information technology, and
- I know and the patients know that they are doing most of the work of being healthy,
So, let’s recognize this and engage patients and families in
- seeing the information,
- using the information, and even more,
- in designing the systems using human-centered design principles / design thinking.
The cognitive support of patients and families in being well is as important as the cognitive support of their care providers, I like that as a goal for health information technology.