22.06.2010

Designing a Medication Form

For the online version of the national database of rheumatological diseases we had to design a web form to manage information about tions or more specifically prescriptions of tions. The database is used for l research, therefore consistent data is a key requirement.

The requirements for such a form are:

  1. Prevent double entries of drugs.
  2. Give an overview over the on-going tions.
  3. Show the 'medication history' of a patient.
  4. The responsible physician might decide to change the dose of a drug during the treatment.
  5. If a drug isn't effective or even an adverse affect occurs the drug will be stopped and in case of the later the adverse event has to be reported.
  6. Incorrect or missing data needs to be fixed.

First we took a look at Google Health and their implementation of the medication part. What they basically have is a table with a row for each medication with an 'edit' option for each entry.

mediaction_form_1

That's a good starting point. In our 'medication' tab we show a simular table of the on-going medications. The responsible physician gets a fast overview over the prescribed drugs.

tion_form_2

To keep the picture clear we hide the dose adjustments. The adjustments unfold if one clicks on the '+' in the first column of each prescription.

tion_form_3

After checking the existing data the doctor can add new drugs, stop current tions or adjust the dose of prescribed medications.
For the edit part we had _in-place editing _in mind but came to the conclusion that it doesn't work here. First, each change of the data needs to be confirmed (e.g., by clicking a 'save' button). And second, viewing and editing the data is not the same and therefore asks for different representations of the data. The application has 'edit' views as shown below.

tion_form_4

After stopping a medication it will be moved to the table 'Discontinued medication'.

Starting a new treatment is always in the context of the currently prescribed drugs. Therefore, the panel for adding new tion is placed below the current medication table. With the drop-down we avoid double entries as the options are filtered.

tion_form_5

One word about widgets used on forms. We decided not to use any fancy widgets (e.g., a date picker widget). Instead a simple mix between input fields and a drop-down for the month is used. With this "hybrid" date widget we show the date format (dd/mm/yy) without any further explanation and keep data entry simple.

tion_form_6