Healthcare is complex, complicated, emotional, rewarding, and most of the time, challenging.
When I was working in 2012 on healthcare products, there are three things to balance — the needs of the business, the needs of the user, and the needs of regulation. It influences so many of the decisions healthcare professionals to make, playing a role in everything from how they record and store data to prescribing or capturing a treatment.
Some of the biggest challenges with designing in Healthcare is building for an audience that sometimes has very different expectations, incentives, and a heightened sense of liability. These challenges drive behaviors and the risk aversion in the field. HIPAA violations are a significant fear in the hospital/clinical setting and for a good reason.
Keeping all patient health information (PHI) stored securely on a digital device is a unique challenge to design, and while the bulk of the pressure falls on secure development and security, HIPAA compliance also extends to design teams, informing how I manage interactions that deal with PHI. I have to be conscious of what uncertainties medical professionals may have, and what legal, compliance, policies, and procedures may have in store for us.
In the end, designing for Healthcare is far more challenging than any other industry. There are regulations to adhere to and lives that depend on the proper care and innovation I bring in technology. I should empower our healthcare professionals with expected and friendly interfaces to deliver better care.
I must build a level of empathy in their day to day lives and understand their needs, goals, and workflows by leveraging best practices from our findings to save documentation time, reduce errors, reduce cognitive overload, reduce burnout, and maintain focus on the patient, without putting a healthcare provider in a compromising position.