Introducing a Human-Centred Design approach to enhancing electronic medical records

Client: NSW Health Sector
Sector: Healthcare

Working with eHealth and the Office of the Chief Clinical Information Officer, we introduced a human centred design approach to enhancing electronic medical records for clinicians involved in giving end of life care.

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The existing electronic medical record (eMR) systems across NSW didn’t closely fit the needs of many clinicians in palliative care and it was recognised new tools were needed to accommodate these unmet needs. But the optimal user requirements needed to be identified across a range of roles and contexts. eHealth wanted to introduce Human Centred Design methods to the design team to capture the user requirements and to help make the new palliative care tools easier to use and suited for the context of the palliative care clinicians.

Illustration of carer


We introduced Human-Centred Design methodologies and new ways of working to the eHealth team such as contextual inquiry, observation, shadowing and concept testing.

Tobias conducted field research with palliative care clinicians to gain an understanding of their context of use for technology tools. Clinicians needs were captured to identify what they require from the eMR to provide optimal care. It also captured what the current pain points in the system that could be improved.

Regular contact with key stakeholders to share updates about the human centred design project approach, progress and emerging research findings was a vital part of the project.

Concept testing was conducted by Tobias in parallel to the field research to test ideas early, involving clinicians in the design process.

Throughout field research and concept testing members of eHealth’s design team joined Tobias to participate in shadowing, interviews and concept testing enabling them to grow their capability.

Illustration of elderly sick man being comforted


Identifying the needs of clinicians in their working environment meant we were able to determine pain points, frustrations and patient safety issues of using electronic records. Our research informed the development of the electronic Medical Records (eMR) for palliative care for the range of roles and settings where they are used. We provided the methods and insight into how they can be designed and tested to be safer, more useful and easier to use.

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