EHR: Industry Applies – Man Conforms

For the past few months, I have developed an outline for the EHR in oncology. I was driven by a simple premise- to make it more efficient. I have pre-baked templates and would have required a simple application at scale with drop-down menus. It would focus on standardisation of history taking. The previous “generation” EHR’s sprung up because there was a need to have “something” in place.


But the story of the electronic health record (EHR) in modern medicine can be summed up by the motto of the 1933 World’s Fair: Science Finds — Industry Applies — Man Conforms. We could say that the physician has become the tool of the EHR rather than the other way around. Given this inversion the AMA’s question seems almost reasonable…Unpopular as it may be, I’m bullish on the EHR. Despite calls by some to disarm the EHR I don’t think we should throw out the baby with the bath water. And I can’t imagine ever again working inside a manila folder.

The solution here isn’t to eliminate the EHR but rather to reboot with the core premise of good design: empathy for the end-user. Design is underrated as a solution to our biggest problems in health care. 

Here I agree entirely with the author- design process. I had insisted that a UX interface specialist has to be a part of the discussion because we need to be empathic about the end-users (who form the long tail of people uncomfortable with the technology). It is one thing that Apple has mastered and got it “right” the first time- design and user experience. Nevermind that the system itself is so restrictive that “power users” have to actually “reimagine” by jumping through the loops.

EHR is a great concept and requires a build-up to automate repetitive tasks. It would then at least appear to be “more efficient”.

via Industry Applies – Man Conforms – 33 Charts

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