Wicked Problem: Public healthcare
As a UX designer, let’s talk about a complex subject that is omnipresent in all the news nowadays: public healthcare.
We all know that technology can make life easier for people, even in the medical field. Who has never used Doctolib to book a consultation?
With this project, we want to go further and make access to public healthcare an easier and better experience.
1. OUR GOAL
How Might we transform the end-to-end experience of access to public healthcare?
We are a group of five UX designers and we have one week to come up with a solution. With our five brains, we will use the design process with secondary researches, user interviews, affinity diagram, persona, user journey map, problem statement to find our solution.
From our Secondary Researches, we have noticed that healthcare is improved thanks to new technologies, with innovative projects like the digital medical passport, for example. The French government is also a player in this change with the e-Health project scheduled for 2022, whose strategy will target telemedicine and teleconsultation.
Despite these innovations, French health is still very late compared to certain European countries. That is due to a lack of coordination between the medical institutes or geographical inequalities, like what we call “medical desert”, in rural places.
2. USER RESEARCH
The interview session
We interviewed 6 different healthcare professionals, aged from the 20s to 60s, with different occupations in the medical field.
Here is our interview guide, to structure the points that we wanted to talk about:
2. Difficulties of the profession
- Day-to-day difficulties
- Challenge for the Public healthcare system
- Sanitary crisis impact
- Communication with other professionals and patients
- What tools?
- Digital in public healthcare
- The public’s and professional’s opinion
- Universal access
- Geographical distribution
From these interviews, we had a large panel of point of views, from the direct contact with the patients to the back office administrative aspect of the health care system.
Some of the interviews were moving, and it was difficult to hide my emotions when interviewees told their difficult daily lives, especially in this time of health crisis. Even if their experiences were very various, we started to find common patterns evidence to back up our solutions.
The Affinity Diagram
After collecting information from the interviews, we shared it orally, while everyone wrote down what came out. For this, we used the tool Mural, which we quickly adopted. 👌
The idea was to write the keywords for strengths and weaknesses on post-it notes. We could already feel a pattern and major themes emerging from all our research.
We ended up with a huge pile of post-its, it was a lot to sort through so we gathered the common ideas, which we organized into 7 main categories:
- Material & financial problems
- Psychological support
The Dot voting
We dot voted with stickers on the themes that we thought were the most important to deal with.
We selected Digitization as our framework for the rest of our work because we thought that solving that problem could significantly improve the quality of care. Our interviewees complained a lot about the digitalization of our medical system, and one of them even compared it to a “dinosaur”. 🦕
For us, digitalization could save time and energy for the professionals' healthcare, speed up the administrative tasks, facilitate communication, improve the organization and facilitate access to the information, even in rural medical deserts.
Based on all our research, we created a Persona that was the representative portrait of our 6 interviews.
We deliberately left some information not detailed, (such as the gender, the specific profession, or the city) because we didn’t consider it necessary to be able to encompass broadly our audience.
However, we built the persona keeping in mind the issue of digitalization of health data, which was important for us as a designer.
Here is our persona 👩⚕️ :
Elisa Hardy is a devoted but exhausted healthcare professional.
She is 31 and she is rather favorable to digitization in order to allow us to advance in the healthcare field.
Her goals are to find a good organization to take care of her patients safely, that meaning without medical mistakes made by inadvertence. She is motivated about are to feel useful helping others. Her beliefs are the well-being of the population and universal access to healthcare. But she’s frustrated by the lack of communication and coordination between her colleagues and the medical data she needs to do her work properly.
5. PROBLEM STATEMENT
The User Journey Map
To define a context, we have established Elisa’s User journey map.
This allows us to put ourselves in the shoes of our persona. We chose the arrival at the hospital when the previous team passed by because that’s where Elisa meets the most pain-points.
We noted the 3 most frustrating moments of her day at work, were:
- when she receives medical information from the previous team. It’s often scribbled on a piece of paper and she can’t decrypt what it’s written on.
“A doodled piece of paper where we can’t even read the name of the patient.”
- when she has to organize her working day into different tasks. She has to make choices by prioritizing some patients over others, and that’s a very difficult choice emotionally because she knows lives are on the line.
“My night shift colleague only wants to go back home and sleep. I just arrived but I feel the same way.”
- when she’s suddenly called for a medical emergency with a patient, she has to rush and it is very stressful for her because she’s afraid of doing medical mistakes.
“The situation is horrific.”
The Problem statement
The problem statement allowed us to clearly state the problem we were trying to solve, through our user and not through us as a designer.
The questions we faced were:
- What service/product are you currently working on?
We are working on a product that will stock and save safely patient medical data, and which the professional can communicate.
- For which type of user are we improving/creating this product?
To improve the work of the majority of Healthcare Professionals.
- Based on your research, what is the main current user’s pain point?
The disorganization due to no centralized tool to share medical data and communicate with the team.
- For the main pain point, list the negative effects it has on the user and on the product:
• Disorganization of the planning
• Wasting time with an inadequate working process
• Have to select and prioritize some patients and it’s hard emotionally
- What is the emotional state of the user when experiencing the negative effects?
• Stress at work
• Fear to do medical mistakes
- Which success metrics will let us know we are meeting user’s needs?Percentage of healed patients or saved lives.
Elisa, a devoted but exhausted healthcare professional, needs to spend less time and energy in searching for correct medical information because each medical mistake can be critical.
The first idea is often the worst. We tend to get stuck on our basic idea, and we have to find a way to get it out of our heads in order to make room for future ideas. To do this, we used a rather fun tool: Ideation!
Our goal was to create as many ideas and content as possible, no matter how good or bad it was.
The exercise we did is called “Crazy 8”. The idea was simple: we had 8 minutes to create 8 drawings of our ideas, which came to mind. We were supposed to draw to remove the intellectual aspect of the words, and then be able to share our ideas with the rest of the group.
The fact that we had a 1-minute timer forced us to get to the point, and not to focus on the quality of the drawing. When we put our drawings together, it was surprising to find that we had a lot of similar and common ideas in our group!
We finally mixed the best ideas together to build our final solution.
7. OUR SOLUTION
Our solution consisted of a digital, collaborative & standardized tool that will help Elisa and all healthcare professionals at work. This tool contains features to save time, organize and save data safely.
The included features:
- Digital board. It contains a complete overview of all the tasks on a “Kanban”. Elisa has the possibility to assigns tasks to colleagues and to prioritize them.
- Mobile device. Elisa can be more comfortable going on her patient's tour with a mobile device that contains her Kanban. She can visualize all the medical data she needs to work on.
- Voice control. She also has the possibility to voice control the tasks that are done on her mobile device. She records herself and all are transcribed automatically into text and saved on the board.
Elisa will dedicate less time to the administrative part and more time to her patients. 🤍
I won’t hide from you that at first, the brief made me run away! I felt like my whole life revolved around the Covid, the lockout, and the health crisis…
But finally, I really enjoyed working on this project, because it’s the kind of project that makes sense.
I was able to learn more about the profession of health professionals and conduct very interesting research on the future of medicine. I was surprised to see that our interviewees were in favor of new technologies in medicine. As the subject is serious, I think that we have invested ourselves in advantages, and I am very proud of myself and of my team. I learned the cohesion with a new team, the support, and the sharing of the know-how of each one.
If I have the opportunity to work more on this project, I would love to talk with health professionals about our solution to see if it would be improving. Then I would create a prototype and test it in healthcare facilities to see if it works. Finally, I would like to assess whether our solution generates progress, especially in saving time and organizing professionals’ working time. There is still a lot to do
I’m convinced that designers have a huge role to play in the future of medicine, especially thanks to digitalization.
And thank you for having reading me to the end, I hope you liked it!
Feel free to clap or comment.
See you soon!