Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Patient Focused Care

blue screen with dataHealth systems are spending more and more time reviewing the "user experience" and the full patient experience to place themselves above and beyond other competitors.
Kaiser Permanente was cited in an Opinion piece in the New York times by Allison Arieff. She discusses Kaiser's focus on the patient, and their research which illuminated issues of wayfinding, patient control and even the need to remove dying plants to make the entire atmosphere reflect the "Thrive" motto.
Paul Bennett of IDEO presented on their findings at TED discussing the simple insight that patients spend an extraordinary amount of time staring at the ceiling in the hospital and shared some ways which the hospital team attempted to waylay that boredom.
In addition, if you haven't seen it, Bridget Duffy, former Chief Experience Officer of the Cleveland Clinic gives a brilliant talk at GEL Health. She discusses how important the patient experience is in health care including a great conversation about their re-design of a patient gown.
That said, we would love to help your team with needs finding, qualitative hospital and patient research or product research to continue to be the best you can be.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Data Management

The Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology atblue screen with dataOregon Health and Sciences University hosted a talk this month entitled "Advancing Clinical and Translational Research through Biomedical Informatics."
After hearing these speakers, issues of data management and the usability of data management software, arose as a central theme. Each of the research teams represented (three in all), talked about the difficulty of data retrieval.
Robert Schuff of OCTRI discussed issues when tracking potential study subjects. His teams need to sort information on demographics as well as disease and are working on building a system to do just that.
Katrina Goddoard of the NW Biobank has an extensive bank of biological matter from surgeries available to researchers for testing, but locating the samples in the piles of specimens has proven daunting.
Dr. Shannon McWeeney also of OCTRI discussed the importance of translating the results of scientific discoveries into actual changes in patient practice.
Overall, it was apparent that medical research is moving at a rapid pace. Technology can help to track and sort data, but the systems we build to track and sort that data are critical to the analysis, understanding and eventual translation into practice. As researchers and designers, we need to get in at the forefront, initiating excellent data management and user friendly systems so that the research is always accessible.