If you consider yourself someone who can create a stunning visual piece, whether it be a portrait or a expertly laid-out brochure or even an outfit that is coordinated and fashion forward from top to bottom, perhaps the words “information technology” do not automatically hold great appeal to you. You might associate “IT” with sitting at a computer and typing out binary code. But, this world of technology is so much bigger than entering data on a keyboard. And, particularly in the landscape of health IT, there are some exciting initiatives happening that are custom-made for the creative types out there.
Right now, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology and the Department of Veterans Affairs are calling on graphic designers to submit their concepts for making a medical record more visually appealing and accessible. Instead, of having a voluminous amount of small print all in black and white, how can our medical information be presented in a way that grabs our attention and allows us to become more active participants in our health care?
I would love to leave my next check-up with my doctor with a sheet in hand that includes headings, graphics, and a way to make the numbers make sense to me. The most well-received designs submitted over the next month or so will be used to inspire EHR companies to rethink their approach to medical record design and perhaps make my hopes a reality.
This initiative by the federal government is just one more example of the many ways in which health IT is an exploding field that is welcoming professionals of a diverse set of talents and expertise into its fold. The way that we receive our medical information, communicate with our doctors, and care for our own health is going to change greatly over the next decade. You can be a part of this movement. Just think about how you might fit in.