London researchers create patient-designed EHR interface

To boost patient engagement with their medical records, Imperial College London researchers built an EHR interface based on patient suggestions, according to a Dec. 3 study published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

For the study, the research team recruited 48 participants, both patients and public, to determine design principles and components that would support a patient-centered EHR interface. Participants attended multistep workshops where they completed qualitative questionnaires and researchers collected their perspectives on EHR interface design.

Results of the study showed that most participants favored adding an interactive timeline, which would show a patient's medical history, to the EHR interface. Other additions included the use of interactive features, infographics, shapes as well as colors to represent disease status and severity.

After completion of the workshops, the research team created a prototype EHR interface design using the principles identified by workshop participants. The researchers used the different shapes and colors that workshop participants assigned various clinical events within the prototype design. The research team plans to compare their EHR interface to others currently in use.

Study authors concluded that involving patients and the public in the design process of digital technologies will help ensure that the product is patient centered. While structured workshops can provide methodology for research and design involving patients and the public, further research needs to be done to build on both the frequency and quality of patient input into the design of health technology.

More articles on EHRs:
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ONC's EHR reporting program will usher in new phase of usability and safety oversight, Pew says  
Cerner ramps up cybersecurity efforts with new partnership: 3 things to know 

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