$21,000,000,000 + Health IT – (Human-centered design) = What?

DesignWell takes a human-centered approach in questioning the utility of the $21,000,000,000 outlay for health information technology in the stimulus (err, spending for the more conservative among us) bill:

I assume that most of the stimulus money will go to large technology companies that create complex database systems and algorithms to handle the intensity of data required to make it all work. However, I hope that the stimulus package carves out money to understand how data will actually get into these health records, and more importantly, how people will actually use them.

And comments on the state of personal technology in the health care world:

In all of this we must be cognizant of the real, and very sad, state of technology in most medical settings. Sure we have amazing scanners and procedures that are miracles of science and engineering. But the state of technology that is actually usable by regular, real people (patients, under-educated nurses, and doctors are real people too!) is shoddy at best. As I mentioned, I don’t envision my doctor entering my results into an iPhone app anytime soon.

Last, the missed opportunities for mindful, captivating self-reflection:

In a waiting room, we have a captive audience that is thinking about health issues because they’re about to see a doctor, yet there is nothing to help the patients. There is nothing to help people get ready for a visit to maximize the time with the doctor. There is nothing to help review past records or streamline the process in any way. What an amazing time and place for people to interact with their EHR! But there’s nothing even close to being on the right path for that. Technology is non-existent here, so a massive EHR system would be equally useless.