The Shock Doctrine and Human-centered Design

So far I’ve been fortunate to have lived my life in three major metropolitan areas in the United States. Each of these different geographic locations have their own unique culture that is clearly evident in the conversations that you would often overhear when out at a restaurant or coffee shop, etc.

I grew up in Los Angeles, where most of these conversations are related to the entertainment industry. “I think someone is interested in my screenplay” or “I got called back for a second reading.” I’ve had friends that were relatives of famous people, and have some relatives are that friends with famous people—many of which I was able to meet.

After graduate school, I moved to the San Francisco Bay area and lived through the Dot-com boom and bust cycle. I’ve worked for many well-known brands helping each of them to make their software easier for real people like you and me. Yes, I was a paper millionaire several times over, until the stock options I was promised quickly became worthless. Hanging out at a coffee shop or restaurant in the Silicon Valley, many of the conversations that you would hear are about the latest app or website.

So now I live in the Washington DC suburbs of Northern Virginia. As restaurants and coffee shops, etc. begin open up again, in whatever the "new normal" may be, I am sure that the topic of conversations will likely include politics.

Let's all channel the power of t he "Shock Doctrine" towards making things easier for all humans to use.

My “elevator speech” when I meet someone new is that “I’m a cognitive ergonomist working to make it harder for your doctor to make a mistake that might kill you.”

For too many years we’ve all seen the headlines complaining about the poor usability of Health IT. Preventable medical mistakes are killing people and no one is doing much about it.

Now is the time to actually do something.Let's apply the “shock doctrine” d in this global time of change, to help the Healthcare industry embrace Human-centered Design.

Let’s shake things up and change the way Healthcare IT is designed and developed. Let’s work with the real people that have to use the system to complete their work each day, and then design and built it to match their mental model, using their terminology and their workflow. Let’s test healthcare usability to make sure it works well in that specific context of use, and then make specific changes when it doesn’t.

Let’s design healthcare IT systems to help patients and doctors instead of just making billing easier (“EHR: it’s just a billing platform with some patient stuff tacked on” Zubin Damania AKA ZDoggMD).

Human-centered Design is the way to go.