August 20, 2014

Dieter Rams’ Principles of Design Applied to Emergency Medicine

By Daniel Cabrera


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Dieter Rams is one of the most important designers of the XX century. His main contribution to the field of design was the concept of  "Weniger, aber besser" translated as "Less, but better". His design was non-intrusive, elegant, never-obsolete, honest and easy to understand.

As I wrote in a previous post, the practice of Emergency Medicine (EM) can learn from basic principles of design, but particularly from the quest for simplicity and subtracting the meaningless (information, resources, etc). Making the management of information and the task performance simpler cane make the practice of EM  more efficient and fulfilling.

Here how Dieter Rams (@dieterrams) Principles for Design apply to Emergency Medicine:

  1. Is innovative - Adopts new research and knowledge as soon is available and validated.
  2. Makes an encounter useful - Addresses the medical, emotional and social needs of the patient and the community.
  3. Is aesthetic - The execution and performance of the art and craft of Emergency Medicine should be without errors, hence beautiful and safe.
  4. Makes a process understandable - The management of patients and information should be clear for whoever observes it.
  5. Is unobtrusive - Your acts should be minimally disruptive on patients and the emergency department environment.
  6. Is honest - Set the expectations of the encounter as realistic as possible.
  7. Is long-lasting - Don't play with odd and chances; plan for the likely and be prepared for the unlikely
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail - You need to be precise, every detail is important.
  9. Is resource friendly - Thrive for maximum value; high quality with as few resources as possible.
  10. Is as little design as possible - Focus in what is essential.



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