Designing a system that helps patients feel more comfortable, prepared, and secure when managing their medical care.
Role: UI/UX Designer
Duration: 12 weeks
I grew up with a mother working in healthcare. I can remember her coming home and talking to my father about the countless issues with the structure of the system - whether that was how the hospital was operating, or the challenges the patients had to face. So, when my professor introduced a project centered around the idea of personal life management, my thoughts went directly to her.
I conducted video interviews with three individuals that have experience both working in the medical field and as patients to better understand how it operates, and where the opportunities for improvement are.
Patients that first get a diagnosis typically feel underwhelmed with the assistance hospitals provide, and overwhelmed with the vast information on the internet.
A lot of patients are not fully aware of how expensive their particular treatment is, or where to go with questions they may have regarding treatment, medications, etc.
With numerous appointments, doctors, and medications, the treatment process can typically get very overwhelming when the patients have to remember all this information.
Each patient has needs unique to their diagnosis, personal lives, financial status, etc. and can get frustrated when they recieve general information.
“It’s a system that’s not built for the patients - it’s built for the providers.”
- Joseph Vasile
CEO of the Greater Rochester
Independent Practice Association (GRIPA)
To better understand the emotional journey a user goes through when dealing with hospital care, I mapped out a typical progression. I wanted to focus on the points that were particularly painful for users so the application would be able to help them when they needed it most.
One of the obvious pain points is when a user is receives a diagnosis. Because this can often be traumatic or stressful, this was the area I chose to mainly focus on. I wanted to make the experience more manageable from this point continuing on.
Based on the takeaways from my interviews and my understanding of a typical patient journey, I was able to establish three main goals. These goals were centered around the takeaways and painpoints.
My first pass at wireframes was focused on organizing the content, and establishing natural flows that helped me meet my goals for each user. I began to explore features such as syncing medical records, monitoring medications, booking appointments, and tying in family members or care-givers.
My further iterations were focused on simplifcation. Because medical information can be complicated and confusing, I wanted to make the information glanceable and highlight next steps so every patient could comfortably understand their experience.
As a newly diagnosed patient I want to know more information about my condition and my next steps so I can feel comfortable, prepared, and secure.
Each patient that visits the hospital is given a Patient ID. This ID is used as a way to keep track of things like medical records and prescriptions. The user would be prompted to sign in using their Patient ID to minimize time-consuming account creation details, such as phone numbers or emails, and also allow for syncing of medical records later on.
Syncing Medical Charts
Giving the application access to medical charts would eliminate the need for the user to input their own diagnosis or prescription. This is crucial considering most patients don't fully understand a diagnosis when it is first received. Being completely transparent with the user about the benefits of this would help them feel secure and trust the application with their confidential information. After hitting "let's sync", the user would be prompted once more just to confirm that they fully understand.
Personalized Educational Resources
The home screen would first be populated with frequently asked questions regarding their diagnosis. These questions came up during my initial interviews as major concerns physicians hear from their patients. The user has the ability to expand to view the answer, be redirected to read more, or swipe the card to dismiss it. After dismissing it, the questions can always be found under resources.
As a long-term patient I want an easy way to schedule new appointments so I can be more proactive with my health and recovery.
Most patients leave appointments confused about their next steps. If the patient's medical charts have appointment suggestions, solace prompts the user to schedule their next treatment to make sure they stay on track. Appointment cards are structured to be glanceable, and prepare the patient with important details.
The majority of patients have multiple medications that they are responsible for keeping track of. This can get very confusing when times begin to overlap. The medication section acts as a checklist that helps patients remember what medications they have taken, and various doses.
As a caregiver I want an efficient way to assign appointments and see how my loved one is doing so I can make sure they’re getting the proper care.
Sharing and Invitations
The care-giver's home screen would look almost identical to the patients, except for a share functionality that is tied to the appointments. This allows them to send an invitation to any individual. Clicking on the invitation brings them to an appointment summary in their browser. Once they accept, the caregiver is notified and their name is populated in the home screen.
This project taught me to emphathize with my user and anticipate their needs. It was an interesting challenge to turn something as complicated as medical data into easily comprehensible information, while also keeping it friendly.