Clinician or patient: it's all about the experience

Monday, 31 July, 2017

Clinician or patient: it's all about the experience

If you are a hospital or health organisation clinician, consumer or advocate, you may have heard about the groundswell of interest in UX (user experience) and the impact on the daily delivery of healthcare.

Concerns are frequently expressed by both clinicians and consumers around the usability and safety of technology in healthcare.

The whole issue of good usability of IT systems extends far beyond health records into any software used in healthcare — from smart pumps to apps to clinical decision support systems.

Poor systems perpetuate inefficiency, undermine take-up and adoption and detract from the real outcome: a better health system for all Australians.

In response to demand, the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) has launched a community of practice for those interested in exploring and learning about health user experience (UX) and has been overwhelmed with the level of interest.

To open the topic to as broad an audience as possible, a special one-day UX conference has been incorporated in the annual HISA conference program, HIC 2017. It will take place on Sunday, 6 August in Brisbane, the day before the main conference gets underway. Registrations are open for the one-day event, or you can attend the whole HIC conference.

Community of practice member and UX strategist Bernard Schokan said, “UX is important for healthcare because we’re talking about human beings in pain and discomfort,

“We can provide better, faster experiences that efficiently and empathetically move people across these spaces — but we’re not.

“Presently, there is clear evidence that despite huge investments by government and service providers, real-world health systems have failed to deliver the improvements expected.”

Schokan will lead a masterclass at the UX conference, taking attendees through a ‘discovery’ phase and creating a ‘digital hUman eXperience’ for carers/patients newly diagnosed with dementia.

About the HISA Community of Practice

“All clinicians and healthcare professionals share something in common with their patients — navigating the health system can be a tough slog,” says HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper.

“High on the list for HISA’s UX Community of Practice is raising awareness about this wicked problem — improving the clinician and patient user experience across healthcare settings with all the challenges that presents.

“When clinicians get involved in co-designing systems, we are on the right path for a great healthcare experience,” Dr Schaper said.

The community of practice is led by UX expert Associate Professor Chris Bain, from Mercy Health — a clinician and Monash University research leader acknowledged as an Australian leader in UX.

He is joined by Matiu Bush, one of several design integration leads for RSL Care and RDNS, working to transform community and residential care for older Australians through human-centred design.

Also on the community of practice leadership group are Dr Louise Teo, founder of The Medical Startup website; UX strategist Bernard Schokman; Dr Anne Miller, from eHealth NSW; and Pamela Scicluna, executive director of Kianza, a health technology company.

Associate Professor Bain said, “We’d all be in a much better place if systems were more usable and clinicians had a positive experience of health IT.

“While clinicians can sometimes be poor at communicating the exact problem to which IT is a possible solution, in no small part it is the role of informaticians and other relevant professionals to glean this information.

“Not providing specifics, however, can lead to ambiguity and frustration, and root problems can remain unsolved. A key purpose of the UX Community of Practice conference in August will be to develop a better understanding of what UX is and what it’s not, empower people and give them the knowledge and language to articulate their system problems, and to work with IT departments and vendors on collaborative solutions. This workshop is highly recommended for clinical, managerial and technical professionals as well as healthcare consumer representatives.”

For more information on the HISA UX Community of Practice, please call the HISA office on (03) 9326 3311.

Image caption: UX strategist Bernard Schokan.

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