Lack of design input in healthcare is putting both patients and doctors at risk, says physician

Marcus Fairs at DeZeen: “Hospitals “desperately need designers” to improve everything from the way they tackle coronavirus to the layout of operating theatres and the design of medical charts, according to a senior US doctor.

“We desperately need designers to help organize the environment and products to help keep the correct focus on a patient, and reduce distraction,” said Dr Sam Smith, a clinical physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“We need designers at every turn, but they are so infrequently consulted,” he added. “In the end, most physicians burn out early because, in part, we are lacking well designed cognitive and physical spaces to help process the information smoothly.”…

“Visual hierarchy is a huge problem in medicine,” Smith said, giving an example. “This is very evident in online medical charts. Very poor visual hierarchy exists because designers were not consulted in the platform or details of the patient information organization or presentation.”

“This inability to incorporate good visual hierarchy, for example organizing a complex medical history in a visual way to emphasize what really needs attention for the patient, has led to ineffective care, and even patient harm on occasions over the years,” he explained.

“I have seen it in my 20 years of practice time and time again. Doctors are humans too, and the demands on them processing huge amounts of information are high.”…(More)”.