Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Design affects Health, says NHS Design Head

When design affects health ...

"Colum Menzies Lowe, head of design and human factors at the NHS National Patient Safety Agency, was speaking at the London Design Festival last week. Meanwhile, for those who didn't catch him, his key points featured in his article in The Guardian newspaper: "Bad design is a health risk".

His take-home message: 'Poorly conceived medical equipment and hospitals can directly contribute to the harm of NHS patients.'

'The cost of bad design in the private sector is disappointed customers, missed sales targets and bankrupt manufacturers; the cost of poor design in ... healthcare systems can directly contribute to the accidental harm of patients, harm that may affect as many as 10% of all acute admissions.'

He lists confusing and poorly conceived medication packaging; unnecessarily complicated medical devices; and healthcare buildings that do not provide good working conditions for staff or supportive, healing environments for patients.

'It seems odd that a country with one of the most sophisticated design industries in the world should not be making best use of those skills in the health sector, where good design is so critical.'"    (Continued via Usability News)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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