Sunday, January 30, 2011

Usability = Adoptability: What if Facebook and Amazon Built an EMR?

Below are screen mock-ups based on Facebook's and Amazon's user interfaces.  Borrowing ideas from them is comfortable because they parallel healthcare processes quite nicely, but also because the user interfaces on today's EMRs are abominable, and adoption rates are terrible (without financial coercion) as a result.  People flock to Facebook and Amazon by the millions, without financial incentives.  Why?  Because:

Total Value of Software Applications = Functional Value x Usability

If either Functional Value or Usability drop to zero, the overall value of the application drops to zero as well.  EMRs might be functional, but they are not user friendly, so their Total Value to healthcare is very low.

In Facebook, we have a perfect framework for longitudinal documentation, collaboration, messaging, and scheduling between a patient and members of their entire care team, including family and friends.  We also have a framework for easily integrating data from other sources to enhance the value to the patient's healthcare-- there's no equivalent of HL7 interchange going on in Facebook.  It references data located in other sources and systems. Can you imagine Facebook surviving if it required itself to house all the data that it presents?  Facebook takes great advantage of referencing and pointing to data in the source systems to build rich content.

In Amazon, we have a perfect and familiar metaphor for ordering tests and procedures; tracking them; assessing their costs; rating them and seeing how other clinicians rated those orderables and referrals; and adjusting orders based on the behaviors and ratings of other clinicians, etc.

Here are the screen shots.  Let's start building these, eh?  Think Mark Zuckerman or Jeff Bezos would help? :-)





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