ONC Design Challenge: 'Humanize' Electronic Health Records

Michelle McNickle | InformationWeek | November 9, 2012

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are asking graphic designers to help them put a new patient-friendly spin on printed Blue Button records. The VA's Blue Button initiative lets users log in to a website and view, download and share their health records.

The design challenge asks artists to "rethink how a medical record is presented visually, making it more readable, downloadable, and easy for patients to use," wrote Ryan Panchadsaram, a fellow at the ONC in a blog post. At the end of the six-week contest, a panel of curators will use one or more of the best entries to build and open source a final design. Electronic health record software companies can then use the template as a springboard to make their products more appealing, and ultimately result in more attractive printed Blue Button documents.

Blue Button is the best way to give patients access to their records because it includes their entire history, Panchadsaram told InformationWeek Healthcare. "It's like a receipt, but there is potential to make it look better," he said. "We believe if we redesign it, it will be a lot more helpful."...