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December 27, 2011

That's clear, isn't it?

In the Southwest General Hospital Emergency Departments stands a cabinet holding 52 different forms dealing with why children were admitted to the ED.

At the top left is 101-Pediatric Injury. Seems like a good starting point.

Moving down, the labels continue in mostly numeric order. Near the bottom of the right column things get a little mixed up:

145-Newborn/Spontaneous Delivery is followed by 94-Progress Note / Transfer of Care, 193-Ped. Pelvic Exam Continuation, then 133a Flu and yet another 94-Progress Note / Transfer of Care.

Finding what you need

Aside from the random rearrangement near the end, it's clear that finding the proper form is no quick and easy task. Someone tried to improve things by adding pictures, but they haven't helped much, if at all.

Move your mouse over the image to see how the fire and dog pictures get you in the right general area, but not necessarily to the specific form you need. The giant brain and baby on the right are pretty much useless.

Here is where a designer could earn his/her keep. If it were me, I'd start by getting statistics on the most common reasons for admission and I'd group the top 10 of those at the top of the left column. I'd use a block of color to make these visually distinct from the rest.

Finishing the job would be harder, and would take more research. It might make sense to continue the organization based on frequency, or simple alphabetical order be enough. Looking at the existing setup it seems that it's semi-organized by parts of the body (head, pelvis, etc.), so this is another option.

Point is, these are the kinds of problems design can help solve, if only we could get away from persuading people to buy more stuff that they don't need.


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