The Attributes of Clinical Work-Flow

Let me start by extending my sincerest thanks to Dr. Clifford Goldsmith for contributing his insightful views to HealthBlog during my vacation. You can be sure that we'll be asking him to become a regular contributor.

I will echo on a few thoughts from his most recent entry. We must indeed be thinking about the "clinical work station" of the future. I've written extensively on the attributes that solutions and devices must possess in order to address the work-flow needs of clinicians. Chiefly they must offer the very best and most contemporary information-worker applications. They must provide a much more intuitive user interface. They must offer multiple data input options. They have to meet mobile work-flow requirements. And, they must be interoperable and affordable.

Dr. Goldsmith's car analogy can be taken a step further. Isn't it interesting that one can sit in any make and model of automobile among the hundreds of makes and models available, and with only a brief orientation to its dashboard and controls, drive it away and down the freeway at 70 miles per hour. If only our clinical work stations and healthcare applications adhered to the same principles of intuitive design, standards and functionality! Imagine walking up to a clinical work station or other healthcare IT system and within minutes, with almost no additional training, knowing exactly how to "drive" it. The answer lies in the adoption of more standardized and commoditized technologies and software solutions in healthcare. That is something we are passionate about at Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Within the next few days, I'll tell you a little more about how I spent my Christmas vacation. Let's just say I got a good, first-hand and rather bitter taste of the communication and collaboration gaffs in healthcare delivery today and why we must demand more from the industry.

Bill Crounse, MD Healthcare Industry Director Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences