Creating a better patient experience through innovative design

As a learning community, we are always excited about new and innovative tools in health education and communication. In particular, education technology has been a grand topic of interest recently as access to the Internet and different technologies become more readily available and integrated into healthcare.

A recent challenge presented by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) created an opportunity for designers to re-imagine how personal health records (PHR) could be improved for clarity, readability, and visual appeal.

This blog, authored by Venessa Perez, director of digital product strategy at HealthEd (SurroundHealth’s parent company), tells the story of how her team accepted the challenge as well as details of their entry design. We’re happy to share this story with you—we found the results to be very patient-centric and intriguing!

v_perezA Call to Action We Couldn’t Resist

In early November, we answered a call for designers to “create a better patient experience” by “reshap[ing] the way health records are presented.” As with any initiative that aligns with our own passions, we accepted the challenge with child-like glee.

Our team separated into 2 groups and embarked on a journey of intense effort, amazing thinking, and the kind of satisfaction that results from doing something you really love. Our submissions can be found below; both entries demonstrate how PHR can be integrated into clinical systems, yet rendered accessible across multiple formats.

Health Resume
The Health Resume provides a holistic view of the patient’s current health.  A health score determined by body, emotional, and lifestyle factors helps the patient easily identify where s/he is most healthy and where there’s room for improvement.  Relevant and immediate medical data is presented in an easily consumable format for patients, caregivers, and doctors to quickly gain an understanding of the patient’s active conditions and treatments.




The intent of the Resume is to transfer the wealth of medical knowledge from doctor to patient in a way that the patient can understand and take informed action to improve his/her health.

Patient-Centered Design Pattern

“Patient engagement” starts with patients not only accessing health information but also feeling comfortable and confident enough to act on the health information. With that in mind, the design pattern was built to support behavior change by providing strong visual flags for important information that must be acted on.




Standardizing how to treat patient information will ensure patients not only have access to their data but can also work successfully toward their health goals.

This entry was posted in Patient / Health Education and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Creating a better patient experience through innovative design

  1. Pingback: Helping patients better understand and use electronic health records (EHRs) | SurroundHealth Blog

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