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How I empowered doctors to prototype the electronic health record (EHR) interfaces?

CONTEXT

The Beneficência Portuguesa is one of the largest private hospital groups in Latin America, treating 1.9 million patients/year. Three years after the implementation of the electronic health record (EHR) system they realized that it would be important to optimize the development flow of new features, including the main users (doctors and nurses) in this process.

 

IN THIS CASE

Customer Behavior Analysis & Journey Mapping
Rapid Prototyping & Validation
Agile Teams Building & Evolution

CHALENGES

1) Requests for new features to the EHR system came from different departments, doctor specialties and some of them were pretty much the same, others completely exclusive
 

2) Each request to be developed was considered as a high priority for the requesters, so the priorities were not clear for the product team

 

3) The communication between the product team and the doctors/nurses has gaps and misunderstandings

MY ROLE

In this project, I had two main functions. One was to lead the team of designers, helping them to define the approach for doctors and nurses in the interviews and workshops, the analysis of the findings, the problem framing definition, and the implementation of the solutions.

The other was to partner with the client, represented by the hospital CIO. My interface with her had the purpose to discuss and evaluate the project progress, to make decisions, and to take off the barriers.

DIRECTLY RESPONDED TO

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LILIAN QUINTAL HOLFFMAN
CIO & COO
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WHAT WE DID

Mapped the HEROs (highly empowered and resourceful operative people)

• Facing the challenges, our target was first to map the most influential doctors and nurses, not based in the hierarchy, but professionals organically perceived as influencers. Our hypothesis was those influencers could be able to represent a group of people when it was necessary to define, prioritize, and request new features to be developed in the EHR. Avoiding multiple requests at the same time.

• To do this, we interviewed the professionals who use the EHR daily, form a pre-list of doctors and nurses, in three different hospital buildings of the group. Besides that, we watched how they use, the limitations, pains, the hacks they have created to overcome the difficulties, and how they influenced others.

 

Taught how to prototype

• We changed the communication patterns, decreasing from exclusively verbal to visual and structural communication as well. The goal was to enrich the debates between doctors and nurses about "what" and "when" to develop, giving them the ability to build by themselves. Besides that, to elevate the accuracy of the request understanding by the product team. Through 2 sessions of 4 hours each, we taught the HEROs how to prototype the desired interfaces, features, and the behavior of each new functionality desired by the team, using the most updated UX methods and techniques.

 

Left tools and guides

• Aiming to ground the knowledge acquired by doctors and nurses, we made for them the "Innovation Toolkit", a box contained framework canvases, concept cards, guides to conduct prototyping sessions, prioritization tools, Sharpies, and Post its. The Innovation Toolkit was a physical representation of a new method implemented in the hospital, besides being a concrete and replicable work tool.

OUTCOMES

Representativeness

The request volume from multiple doctors has decreased. Now to request new features it must be in accordance with the specialty group's needs. The HEROs are the representatives.

Methodology

A prioritization process has implemented, reducing the confusion about what is most important to be developed

 

Assertiveness

The communication between doctors/nurses and the product team has become seamless, avoiding misunderstandings

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