Supporting coordinated care: Designing social context visualizations for care teams
Coordinated care is a paradigm in which a multidisciplinary team takes a holistic, proactive stance towards delivering care that encompasses both health and social issues. It focuses on understanding clients in their social contexts so as to anticipate problems and devise solutions that work within those contexts. For example, prescribing insulin to a diabetic will fail if the client lacks a refrigerator in which to store insulin, lives with someone who is likely to steal needles, or lacks the means to travel to the pharmacy. Social and health issues are intertwined. The effectiveness of coordinated care requires access to health and social data that enable care teams to understand clients' situations, assist them in interacting with their clients, and guide them in developing apt solutions. However, today's Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are ill-suited to these ends. This paper describes the setting, rationale, and design of social context visualizations for EHRs that combine health and social data. In particular, it describes two visualizations that show the client, the client's family and friends, and related information that enable a care team to quickly understand their client's social context.