Redesigning the Personal Health Record


In November 2012, the digital team at HealthEd embarked on a challenge to redesign the face of personal health records. That effort has been rewarded with a first-place win in the category of Best Lab Summaries. And another HealthEd entry was cited as a finalist that “inspired the judges and challenged the status quo.”

About the Health Design Challenge

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology and the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a challenge to designers throughout the United States: imagine how personal health records could be improved for clarity, readability, and visual appeal. Given HealthEd’s mission to create better outcomes in personal wellness, the team embraced the Health Design Challenge with typical enthusiasm.

The Health Design Challenge was more than an exercise in graphic design, however. Entrants were required to demonstrate expert knowledge of clinical systems and to render information of relevance for both millennials and senior citizens. The judges wanted more than pretty pictures—participants had to know their stuff.

Making Health Records Easier to Understand

A cross-functional team of experience designers, health educators, visual artists, information architects, and technologists arrived at 2 strong concepts deemed worthy of entry. One was a “health summary” scorecard that is transferable from doctor to doctor. It takes into account a patient’s holistic criteria at all steps of the health journey:

The other was a health records style guide created to help standardize how data could be parsed and interpreted across multiple off-line/online formats:


Obviously, the buzz around the office since a recent public announcement is a tremendous boost to the team of Susan Collins, Alyssa Costino, Michael Genkin, Michele Lomas, Dan McGorry, Ide Mills, Michael Parker, Venessa Perez, Marilin Polanco, and Tara Rice. More important, this recognition validates HealthEd’s commitment to the patient-centric ethos that drives our digital innovation. Our work continues to encourage productive dialogue between patients and their healthcare providers by removing barriers to comprehension.

Kel Smith is Chief Innovation Officer at HealthEdThis post originally appeared on the HealthEd Blog, which explores challenges and solutions impacting health literacypatient educationself-management tools, and healthcare reform.

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