Sometimes the core problem isn't what it seems...

In this project, while trying to solve a separate issue, I discovered tasks were "slipping through the cracks," resulting in incomplete circles of care and designed a solution that reduced errors by 20%.

Provider Task Management

Understand core user behavior  leading to incomplete circle of care.

Design a solution to help providers keep track of their tasks.

Project Goal

Discovery: 6 weeks

Define: 3 weeks

Design: 2 weeks

Iterate: 2 weeks

Overall: 3 months

TimeFrame

  • Website Analytics

  • Conversations

  • "Toddler"/Five Whys

  • Evaluative Research

  • Icon Design

  • UX Writing

  • Redlining

Methodologies

The Problem

At Curavi Health, the software team was highly focused on metrics and analytics, and we kept a running dashboard displayed at all times.

After some time I noticed that some of the doctors and nurses were not closing their consult cards, which would sever the connection and "release" the telemedicine cart to receive more calls. 

 

Since the rates varied from provider to provider, I assumed it was simply user error and forgetfulness, but after shadowing a few doctors, I understood the issue was rooted in something completely different...

Defining the core issue

In order to help providers remember to complete close the consult cards, I first evaluated where the issues were stemming from.  After sitting in on the provider meetings, I saw a common theme where the providers would state things like "I keep the consult open so I don't forget to do my documentation" or "Once I close it, I lose it."

I realized the providers were losing their work in the generalized "buckets" we had to categorize their work, and using workarounds to help track their outstanding tasks.

When their only options were "Open Consults" which would contain what they were actively working on, and "Closed Consults" which contained all of the consults they had closed (but not necessarily documented), they were having a hard time figuring out what they needed to do.  I realized that if I improved the heuristic "visibility of system status" it would help the providers find and remember what they needed to do.

The process

 

Research

Once I understood the core issue, I worked with the providers to understand their mental model of the lifecycle of a consult.  Talking to a few key power users, I drafted out a workflow of how they envisioned the process of creating, solving, and then closing out a consult.  Then, I ran it by some more users and refined the workflow.

Design & Testing

Early iterations of the designs were inspired by a parallel found in the Domino's Pizza tracker.  However, after testing it with providers, I discovered their process wasn't always linear and needed to refine the interface.

The next iteration allowed providers to "jump around" as needed.  At this point I also realized there were some edge cases, for example, some providers did not have EMR integration and therefore did not need a tab to track that.

I also grouped the actions into categories and differentiated between buttons such as "New Consult" and tabs.  I added a hover and selected state for each area to make it clear where the users were within the system.

UX Writing

Labeling the tabs was a particularly difficult challenge.  In early iterations, I tried to keep the wording generic so it could grow as the product evolved.  However, testing showed the providers found the wording too ambiguous, and since certain tabs had overlap, we had to be very explicit.

I worked with several providers to develop the copy and vetted it with more.  Normally I would prefer to use more simplified language, but since the end-users are accustomed to and prefer more formal language, we settled on very concrete wording.

Developer Handoff

Once the designs were finalized, I had to work with the developers for handoff.  Due to different permissions and configurations, I had to write out how each rule would affect the design of the header, and I included redlines for spacing, typography, and anything else needed.

The Results

Once implemented, providers were very pleased with the new way of parsing and finding their consults.

 

By sorting and prioritizing incoming consults and creating a visual workflow for consults, end-of-shift documentation rose from 75.8% to 96.3%.  Providers no longer kept the cart "locked" unnecessarily, resulting in an increase in consult volume.

Iteration

Providers were so pleased with the new navigation that they relied on it constantly, and wanted it available at all times.  After some asking around, it became clear to me that they wanted a "sticky header" where it would remain at the top of the page, even as they scrolled away.

 

Other Improvements

 

By sorting and prioritizing incoming consults and creating a visual workflow for consults, end-of-shift documentation rose from 75.8% to 96.3%.  Providers no longer kept the cart "locked" unnecessarily, resulting in an increase in consult volume.

Iteration

Providers were so pleased with the new navigation that they relied on it constantly, and wanted it available at all times.  After some asking around, it became clear to me that they wanted a "sticky header" where it would remain at the top of the page, even as they scrolled away.