Skip to main content


Rind, A., Wang, T., Aigner, W., Miksch, S., Wongsuphasawat, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (September 2010)
Interactive Information Visualization for Exploring and Querying Electronic Health Records: A Systematic Review
Published in Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 5, No. 3 (2013) 207-298. [Published Version]

Physicians are confronted with increasingly complex patient histories from which they must make life-critical treatment decisions. At the same time, clinical researchers are eager to study the growing databases of patient histories to detect unknown patterns, ensure quality control, and discover surprising outcomes. Designers of Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs) have great potential to apply innovative visual methods to support clinical decision-making and research. This work surveys the state-of-the-art of information visualization systems for exploring and querying EHRs, as described in the scientific literature. We examine how systems differ in their features and highlight how these differences are related to their design and the medical scenarios they tackle. The systems are compared on a set of criteria: (1) data types covered, (2) multivariate analysis support, (3) number of patient records used (one or multiple), and (4) user intents addressed. Based on our survey and evidence gained from evaluation studies, we believe that effective information visualization can facilitate analysis of EHRs for patient treatment and clinical research. Thus, we encourage the information visualization community to study the application of their systems in health care. Our survey is written for both scientific researchers and designers of future user interfaces for EHRs. We hope it will help them understand this vital domain and appreciate the features and virtues of existing systems so they can create still more advanced systems. We identify potential future research topics in interactive support for data abstraction, in systems for intermittent users such as patients, and in more detailed evaluations.

Science Everywhere
More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

Seminars + Events
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Physical Devices
Public Access
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors