Failure to communicate ebola

Texas Health systems report that a factor in missing the Ebola patient had recently traveled from Liberia was that the nurse patient records which contained that fact are separate from the info the doctors access.

Many people are surprised and appalled that this could happen.

Reality is that healthcare systems are an aggregate of disparate systems evolved of different origins serving various niches in the vast healthcare arena. just getting them to share the most common frequently used information efficiently has been the focus of healthcare IT for years. Asking for bigData intelligence that is usable and flexible to new needs such as this is a big expectation. So much work to be done.

Some naively think that having doctors and nurses on the IT design team is the answer to all the troubles facing healthcare IT.

Having domain experts, including people who are from that target user base, in this case actual medical professionals, on board is important. However, it is not a substitute for having process analysts and user experience designers who are experts in teasing out the important task and information elements and translating it into a usable high performing system. Other fields such as banking, transportation, and aerospace have learned this through a lot of trial and error over the past twenty years, Doctors are not designers any more than airline pilots, travel agents, or loan underwriters.
Healthcare UX is an area of huge need.  Of course, I have been saying this for along while.  See my previous blogs