User-Centered Design Means Better Patient Care

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To Err is Human1 and Crossing the Quality Chasm2 highlighted the need for healthcare to focus on patient safety, launching several decades of effort and modest success in reducing unnecessary patient harm. In parallel, emphasis on patient-centered care, defined as “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions,”2 has increased. In this article, we examine how these two “movements” can align through the application of user-centered design (UCD)3 processes to develop patient-facing medical technologies that are safer, more usable, and more patient centered.

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