In contrast to us people in the medical domain seem to start early in the morning. In the process of preparing a project proposal we visited the Elisabeth Hospital in Essen. We got the chance to see some invasive heart exams first hand.
It is impressive how well such complex processes run and how quick the staff can assess the conditions. Looking for potential to make theses processes easier is a touch challenges - espcially if you do not do this by sitting at your desk but if you want it to be realistic. In the discussion with the head nurse it became apparent that user centred design is probably the only way to really make a difference.
Processes are structures but nevertheless the real world is complex and messy. One thing we saw even in our short visit is that technology introduced must not make things slower – not even a single step.
In our conclusion we found a number of interesting issues – in particular with regard to the electronic patient record – that are worth while to push forward.