Envisioning the Future of Charting

  • The Chart Before Editing
  • Hover Over a Charting Topic
  • Select and Open the Charting Topic
  • Hover Over a Physical Exam Subtopic
  • Select the Physical Exam Subtopic
  • Hover Over a Specific Body System
  • Hover Over WNL for a Specific Charting Element Group (note “hinting” at what will happen)
  • Select WNL for the Whole Group of Elements
  • Hover Over Another Element Group – Tongue
  • Expand the Element Group for Tongue
  • Collapse the Element Group for Tongue
  • Hover Over the Soft Tissue Subtopic
  • Select the Soft Tissue Subtopic
  • Charting Options for Hands and Feet
  • Future Charting Ideas

Along with the next version of emergency room software, which was an evolution of the existing one, I looked at where the team could go in the future. These screen shots show one of the promising paths we explored.

The screens show one possible workflow through the process of charting. The main benefit of this design was to replace a multi-window process for entering details about a body system with an interaction that let them stay within the same page. That leads to less confusion about where they are in the process, because the charting physician can edit their documentation options in place instead of in a separate window. It also reduced the chances of accidentally leaving a charting element unfinished, because there are no secondary windows to lose track of.

In this case, the care provider adds data that the patient's status is WNL, which is common shorthand for "Within Normal Limits." Knowledge of shorthand like this is one of the reasons design research is so important. When designing tools for professionals, it is crucial.

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