Patients’ basic understanding of clinical events has been shown to dramatically improve patient care. Unfortunately, patients are frequently under-informed and unclear about our own hospital/clinical courses. The recent emergence of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Personal Health Records (PHRs) makes vast amounts of data available to patients, but does little to help patients understand that data. Our work focuses on designing and building simplified information displays that will help patients understand our medical treatment and become more informed partners in our own care. This area spans ethnography, design, and algorithms: understanding patients’ information needs (an ethnography problem) is inseparable from organizing that information effectively (a design problem) and from automatically “translating” EMR data into patient-friendly vocabulary and structure (an algorithms and machine learning problem).
Contact Dan Morris for questions about our work in this area.