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Visual Design Assessment of Lab Reports

In Partnership with ARUP Laboratories, IAB Member

Student: William Rey Johnson

ProblemNeed for patient-friendly laboratory reports

Clinical laboratory results are ubiquitous in medical care and are increasingly shared with patients in various formats, including online and hardcopy. The visual presentation of lab results is heavily influenced by the data structures of laboratory information systems and electronic health records, and has not changed substantially over the past decades

Solution: Visual design assessment. Interviews were conducted with a variety of subjects, none of whom had a medical background. The student elicited feedback on a number of different attributes of real-world (but de-identified) laboratory reports. The information goals of subjects were only variably met by these reports. In many respects the reports reflected a laboratory perspective rather than patient perspective. The interviews were summarized into a formal presentation to a group of ARUP informatics and medical writing staff.