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Technology & Innovation

Attention, Form Designers: Uncle Sam Wants You

There are 17 days left to submit an entry to the White House’s Health Design Challenge, in which designers are invited to change the current unwieldy, text-heavy electronic medical record format.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

The White House has joined with the philanthropic network Designer Fund to create a contest that’s open to anyone who thinks they can update the electronic medical record template for the 21st century. The creator of the best overall design will receive $25,000, and their design will be rolled out to the medical system at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which services 6 million patients. According to the Health Design Challenge’s Web site, which contains all the details for entering, other cash prizes will be awarded for the best redesign of specific record sections. The deadline for submissions is November 30.

What’s the Big Idea?

Currently, the standard electronic medical record is displayed in a monospace font that works well for scanning software, but is difficult for the average person to read and understand. Designer Fund co-founder Ben Blumenfeld asks potential competitors to keep those people in mind: “This isn’t designers designing for each other. Put your design in front of your parents or grandparents and see if they understand it. Put it in front of someone with sight or comprehension difficulties. Don’t just test it on young people [in] tech.”

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