There’s a war being waged on one of America’s most revered institutions, the emergency room. The ER, or emergency department (ED for the sake of this post) has been the subject of at least a dozen prime-time TV shows. What’s not to love about a place where both Doogie Houser and George Clooney worked? Every new parent in the world knows three different ways to get to the closest ED. It’s the ...

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I’ve been thinking about EMRs, electronic medical records, lately. It’s a subject, despite some professional experience, I don’t feel particularly close to. In fact, if anything, they are a source of consternation. As an industry insider, I see them as an expensive albatross around our collective neck. As a human centered design adviser, I see them as an encumbrance for both providers and patients. And, as a patient I see ...

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There’s that line about art, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” There’s some debate about if Picasso said it first, but most of us geeks know it from Steve Jobs. Often, I see things from companies and industries outside of health care  -- processes, products, best practices -- which inspire me. I like these little inspirations because they often aren’t rocket science, but nonetheless fuel some creative thoughts about their applicability ...

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Have I told you how much I love Amazon? Its the awesome! Let’s say I need something – an external hard drive. So I go to Amazon and I type in "external hard drives." Boom. I get a list of, not surprisingly, external hard drives. Which one do I chose? Fortunately, Amazon has some great data and filtering options. I want a desktop drive, not portable, so I filter those out. ...

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So, here we are, between a Medicare rock and budget hard place. Costs are clearly a problem. Our healthcare system is the most expensive in the world. Take a look at the 2003 figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Per capita costs, in 2003, in the US were $3,394 above those of the UK. We need to work on the costs. That’s clear. But ...

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