Activity Stream

Here's a fun little project that I played around with. One of the challenges for clinicians in healthcare is filtering through all the medical data to identify what is important to treat patients. It is a challenge for Electronic Medical Records and other Health IT systems to present the data in a meaningful, actionable manner. What data does the physician need to see in order to treat the patient? What historical trends are relevant to the current situation? Which patient needs to be addressed first?

The premise of this design was figuring out a different way to present a lot of medical information to address these problems. One idea that I was presented with; what if the data could be presented in a Facebook-like fashion? Facebook presents data in a chronological order, which is an extremely important aspect in identifying clinical trends. Facebook also allows users to choose which friends they want to follow or who is a favorite. This filtering is also important in the clinical world to help prioritize the patients that need to be treated. 

The "Activity Stream" design organizes data by patients. A header will display the necessary patient identifiers to avoid any "wrong patient" scenarios. Various alerts, tags, lab results, and documents are listed under each patient to provide a high level overview of the different data and activities for that patient. A clinician can click on any of the links to bring up a second window to deep dive into any of the data they choose to view. The left side of the screen provides filters so the clinician can focus on alerts, flag, or whatever data points are most important to them. All of the alerts and flags that come through would be based on a clinical rules engine to capture the patients that meet critical criteria that the clinicians want to focus on. 

Admittedly, it is a bit complex. That is the nature of healthcare. The power of this design is the ability to filter and organize around what a clinician feels is most important as they get through their patient census. This design provides a different presentation of the mountain of data that healthcare professionals have to work through every day. 

The next step would be to do some User Research on the concept to see if it is something that would be accepted clinically. Which data really needs to be displayed? How easily can the clinicians process the data? Could they easily navigate and set up the filters? Then some updates based on the feedback to fine tune the design. 

This concept has not gotten far enough along to make it into a product, but it was fun to put this together. I enjoy playing with a new idea to solve a complex problem every once in a while.