Microsoft Healthcare Common User Interface: Now available free worldwide

Anyone who works in healthcare knows that many of today’s clinical software applications leave a lot to be desired when it comes to “user experience”.  Unlike ubiquitous, commodity software used in other businesses, healthcare applications are highly proprietary and often based on legacy technologies.  Clinicians find that much of what’s available today is often too hard to use.  Becoming proficient on these clinical applications requires lots of training and that can mean taking already scarce healthcare workers off-line for days or weeks at a time.  Worse yet, even if clinicians become proficient on one vendor’s solution, they are likely to encounter something entirely different in every hospital where they work, requiring even more training.  But what if there was a common, more standardized user interface for clinical applications?  What if the user experience was pretty much the same no matter where a clinician worked?  Would doctors, nurses and other clinical workers be better served?

Last July on this Blog I told you about an ambitious project to develop a standardized user interface to administrative and clinical systems.  The project was launched more than a year ago by Microsoft and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.  It is part of a country-wide upgrade of the data spine, clinical and administrative applications used by the NHS.

Based on that work, and just announced today, Microsoft has launched  The Microsoft Health Common User Interface (CUI) web site.  It provides Design Guidance and controls that allow a new generation of safer, more usable and compelling health applications to be quickly and easily created. In this special video edition of my House Calls for Healthcare Professionals series, we take a look at the the work that's been going on at the NHS and how that work, through the MSCUI, now offers promise to improve worker satisfaction and patient safety around the world.  Enjoy the show!

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Bill Crounse, MD    Worldwide Health Director      Microsoft Corporation

Program Guests

Dr. Mike Bainbridge is a former general medical practitioner who now leads the Clinical Architecture team at NHS Connecting for
Health, a group that delivers innovations in hardware design, clinical interface design and interfaces to the electronic medical record for both healthcare professionals and citizens.

Stephen Corbett is Head of UI Design for NHS Connecting for Health where he evangelizes the user-centred design approach to building software.  Since graduating in Ergonomics in 1988, he has been working in the field of software usability in various industries.

Andrew Kirby is a Director at Microsoft UK where he is responsible for the delivery of solutions and services to the National Health Service which includes the delivery of the Common User Interface Programme.