Hello! Thanks for taking a look at my entry.

My name is Graham Walker, and I'm a full-time practicing Emergency Physician at Kaiser San Francisco after having completed a fellowship in Simulation Medicine at Stanford and residency at St. Luke's-Roosevelt in New York. I've been blogging since 2003, and I'm the creator and developer of a couple other medical sites, MDCalc, a medical calculations website and theNNT, an evidence-based medicine tool. Thanks for putting this competition together – I'm really excited to get a chance to put my ideas to paper code.

If there's anyone who needs readable, useable information from patients, it's an Emergency Physician.

Our patients are strangers to us, and often confused, intoxicated, or comatose and can't tell us much about their medical problems; other times the best they can tell us about a medication is "it's a little red pill, you know, that one that I take twice a day?" We are the masters of data mining a medical record, sleuthing, and making educated guesses. Not only are we frequently limited by information, but we're also limited by time, only having limited resources to diagnose and treat a particular patient. We're really good at this, but an improvement to the patient record would help immensely.

My goals for this design:

  1. Provide a better, cleaner medical summary of a patient that is patient-centered, and uses patient-appropriate language (36% of adults have issues with health literacy)
  2. Educate patients about how they can control their diseases better, why their medications are important to take, what their diseases and medications do to their bodies, and why doctors might focus on certain diseases while patients might be worried about different things
  3. Provide a way to show patients how complicated their bodies are and how everything interacts with everything else ("Matrix View")
  4. Provide a way to look through a very complicated patient reasonably quickly but thoroughly
  5. Provide a better doctor-centered overview of a patient in a format that is easily digestible to doctors so they can get an overall picture of a patient in a limited amount of time.

A few caveats:

  • Apologies for poor browser compliance – this has been tested on the latest Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers (I didn't have time to make it work in buggy Internet Explorer!)
  • Some of my ideas would require some very simple extra data and logic – for example, if the medical record states "Hypertension," replacing it to say "High Blood Pressure" (a number of patients know they have high blood pressure, but have no idea what your'e talking about if you say "hypertension."
  • Also, possibly some simple logic: "If the patient has atrial fibrillation, then include Atrial fibrillation summaries in the details."
  • I was surprised there are no obviously practicing health care professionals on the reviewer board – I think you need at least some frame of reference to know what's an important lab test or medicine – literally things I do not ever look at, and would only cause more confusion to patients
  • The sample data set was wayyyy too simple. The average patient that I see has at least 10 listed medical problems and is on at least 10 medicines. That's average. I have patients who are prescribed 25 medicines. It's ridiculous that they're going to keep them all straight, and I think the design has to accommodate complicated patients well.
  • While the reviewers and I are all relatively young, the average patient in the US who uses a lot of medical care is older. This design must be simple to use for the elderly. Young people will be able to just figure it out, and most younger people have relatively short problem lists and medication lists.
  • It says "Doctor View" but I obviously want to be inclusive of other providers who are not physicians. Medicine is a team sport!

And now, on with the show!

  • Note: Items highlighted in yellow are demo functionality, to show you what particular things do.
  • I've made a screencast of the features I've included to help explain them a little better:

  • You can view the demo through this link or click the button on the upper right-hand corner.