Giving patients the right care information at the right time before and after a procedure or hospitalization
We created a proof of concept for a digital platform which provides patients with the appropriate self-care information and instructions at home before and after a hospitalization or medical procedure.
One of the important themes that emerged from hiCOlab’s foundational research with community stakeholders led us to this opportunity: How might we create individualized and convenient healthcare services? We heard a great deal about how important it is for people to have control over their lives and the decisions that impact their health and healthcare. Effective communication and having the necessary information help people maintain this sense of control, even if they require varying degrees of assistance in managing their care.
With the imperative to create more individualized and convenient experiences, our team found an opportunity to improve how information and care instructions are accessed by patients and provided at a time when they are most able to understand and act upon them. Many patients say they feel rushed and overwhelmed during the post-procedure and discharge process, or they are not in an appropriate physical or mental state to even hear and digest this type of information. With this digital platform, information about medications and care instructions are provided to patients in clear language and in different formats that can be tailored to patient preferences.
Several rounds of testing both paper and digital prototypes produced the following feedback:
Test users were delighted by the ability to set reminders and alarms for medications and other self-care activities. This would be one area in which the system’s cross-platform potential could be highlighted and utilized (e.g., sending reminders to someone’s computer or email when at work).
People were excited about how home health providers could use this tool. It was also suggested that home health nurses be able to input recommendations and patient details of progression to update the information between visits to patient’s primary care and specialty providers.
The feature for “checking off” medications taken and self-care activities completed was greatly appreciated.
As one of the first demonstrations of how design-led innovation could be impactful within our healthcare organization, the story of the project and the human-centered design process were instrumental in building a credible argument for moving forward with hiCOlab’s work.