In the Spotlight: Catherine Plaisant

Many hospitals and doctors’ offices have transitioned to using electronic health records, but healthcare workers say there are drawbacks, including disparate systems that cannot communicate together, confusing screen commands and inflexible software that can lead to medical errors. Improving Electronic Health Record Systems has the potential to impact how medical care is provided to millions of patients. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology provides funding for the project.

Plaisant recently co-authored an e-book on the topic, “Inspired EHRs: Designing for Clinicians,” which features clinical scenarios, designs, interactive prototypes and more.

Plaisant is also continuing her work on EventFlow, a tool developed by HCIL, along with Shneiderman. EventFlow is a data visualization tool that helps users analyze and explore patterns of point and interval based events from patient history records and other information sources. It presents a novel solution for displaying events, simplifying their visual impact, and making meaningful queries. Their research is funded by the Oracle Corporation, UMD’s Center for Health-related Informatics and Bioimaging (CHIB), the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program, and Pulse8.