Design for Care: Critical help for designers in
To manage the size and scope of the book, I am constraining to
cover four "subjects" :
- Healthcare Seeker (patient)
- Healthcare Education
Each chapter will include a set of common elements to organize the
- What’s meaningful for designers to consider in the problem? In
each chapter, summarizing a current/leading understanding of the
process. Graphical presentation and brief sections about health
seeking behavior, practices and processes, user sensemaking,
motivations and constraints, preferences, and trends.
- Summative map of the overall information flow. Visually
describing the process or health seeking journey from the subject’s
perspective for the chapter. Showing some of the leading online
services, systems, sites, search behaviors, research tools,
- Design guidelines: Common elements of value, design, function,
guidelines (boxed sidebar)
- Exemplary methods: Visual and analytical presentation of an
optimal method (1-2 pages)
- Design issues: Challenges for the designer in each example
American healthcare is a mess. Pick a story from your own life,
from your friends and family’s experiences, or just Google
“healthcare horror stories.” Urban emergency rooms are overflowing,
medical devices have misleading interfaces leading to errors,
doctors order too many expensive and unnecessary tests, and medical
records are confusing and unreadable. You and your loved ones have
suffered through personal, real life situations with no recourse at
the time of the problem. Private health insurance is complex,
expensive and fragmented, leading to even worse horror stories of
family financial problems after the care.
Healthcare problems are complicated and messy, and cannot be
untangled easily once they appear. Technically, a "mess” is a
complex issue with no discernible form or structure. Our healthcare
services qualify for both the technical and colloquial definitions.
Healthcare leaders agree. Mike McCallister, CEO of Humana recently
described the U.S. health care sector as a gigantic mix of varied
players, that is "broken, but can be fixed."
"We don't actually have a health care system. We have a lot of
different systems that are glued together." Dr. Alex Jadad, Founder
of Toronto’s Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, goes much
further, calling for true person-centered healthcare, and the
collaborative development of information technology to innovate
immediately to help Canada’s stressed healthcare system.
“This technology can help us transcend our cognitive, physical,
institutional, geographical, cultural, linguistic, and historical
boundaries. Or it can contribute to our extinction.”
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Design for Care - Introduction