I'm working on a project where a logged-in user(nurse) has to complete a multistep workflow in order to enroll patients into their doctor's records system.

The workflow needs to capture: Patient Name/Contact Info, Doctor/clinic information (neither can be assumed), Prescription information, and some test results/general medical questions.

Important info: This process is meant to replace a paper form that currently exists - so some users may be used to filling in this information with pen and paper.

I've heard the thinking that it's important to engage users, which would lead me to choose the medical information or the Prescription information as the first steps rather than the data entry that is patient contact info and doctor information but I'm hoping there are opinions or thinking to support or refute that approach.

1 Answer 1


I have written quite a few databases, including a medical records system (in pre-web days).

Always start with "demographics" - name, email (if this is a publicly accessible online system then you will already have that from registering an account anyway), address, phone #s, etc. You need this information to do "anything" and it has the advantage that nothing "special" is needed.

Next should be any non-medical information: Insurance, doctor/clinic, etc.

Last should be the actual medical information - tests, prescriptions, diagnoses, etc.

This works from easiest to hardest. Get the users to enter the easy stuff and then they will be more inclined to do the extra work to gather the harder/more complicated/confidential information because they will feel more vested in the system. They may legitimately need to come back later with the more complicated information, so at least you can get the easy stuff right away.

  • And in your experience, the fact that the user is already logged in should not affect their need to feel vested in the system? In other words, the user is already bought in to some degree by mere fact that they have logged in and started this workflow Dec 5, 2018 at 20:52
  • I agree that making an account/logging in gets them connected to a certain degree. But (a) the demographic info. is the easiest - they can often do all of that without looking up anything and (b) once they do that part they may feel more like "I've already put in some work, I might as well keep going" as opposed to starting with medical information that they may not have handy and saying "ugh! that's too much, I'll do it later" - and then later might not happen. Dec 5, 2018 at 20:56

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