The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has a new challenge for software developers: ONC is calling on graphic designers to figure out ways to make electronic health records more “readable.”

The challenge is not only to make an EHR more readable for consumers, but downloadable, according to an ONC blog posting. “Graphic designers have the unique ability to take something that exists, transform it, and make it more valuable and usable,” says blogger Ryan Panchadsaram, a presidential innovation fellow at ONC. “By making a patient record more usable, designers can help to prevent medical errors, empower patients to make smart health decisions and even save lives.”

One goal of the project is to make patient records accessed via the federally developed Blue Button technology look and read better. The initial text version of Blue Button records “looks and feels like a receipt,” according to ONC. “If you are a patient with many health conditions, the record is unwieldy because of the lack of presentation and hierarchy.”

Nominations for designs are due on Nov. 30 and the final design will be placed on the open source market. More information is available here.

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