Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (2018) to appear
Most electronic health records display historical medication information only in a data table or in clinician notes. We designed a medication timeline data visualization intended to improve ease of use, speed, accuracy, and safety in the ambulatory care of
Materials and Methods:
We identified information needs for understanding a medication history managing chronic disease in primary care, then applied human factors and interaction design principles to the tools that support that process. Our methodology started with the research and analysis of existing medication lists and timelines, which guided initial requirements. Next, we hosted design workshops with multidisciplinary stakeholders
from industry and academic disciplines to expand on our initial concepts. Subsequent
weekly meetings of the core team used an iterative user-centered design approach to refine our prototype.
We propose an open source online prototype that incorporates user feedback from
initial design workshops, subsequent target audience reader reviews, subject matter expert focus groups, and a target audience user survey. We describe the applicable design principles associated with each of the prototype’s key features.
There is industry interest in developing medication timelines based on the example prototype concepts. An open, standards-based technology platform could enable developers to create a medication timeline that could be deployable across any compatible health IT application.
The design goal was to improve physician understanding of a patient’s complex medication history, using a medication timeline visualization. Such a design could reduce the temporal and cognitive load on physicians for improved and safer care.