In order to help explain what PatientPal does, I am going to show you a diagram I redesigned after discovering that the existing one was confusing potential clients and investors. PatientPal is a company that automates and digitizes the front desk system at healthcare clinics, and here is how it works:
Hopefully you now have a pretty clear understanding of the role PatientPal serves in the front desk system of a health clinic. As a non-healthcare professional, I found it hard to extract PatientPal's function within the entire timeline through the visual on their website.
Timeline of front desk healthcare process
Roles of the players within the process
All actions of each player (clinic, PatientPal, and patient) displayed WITHIN a linear timeline. Pathways of like actions easily tracked through matching icons.
Objective of the PatientPal project:
1. Observe a PatientPal client (Longwood MRI) and their use of the implemented system, specifically the clinician console, in order to understand inefficiencies.
2. Implement design changes to the software based upon my research.
Below is what the original console looked like:
The first half of my research was to identify problems that the users recognized they had with the console. I call this part explicit research. In order to do this, I sat with Jasmine and Danielle, the ladies who worked the front desk (as well as the technicians and doctors) at Longwood and asked them to identify their issues with the system. This is what we came up with:
The second half I call experiential research, within which I observed the front desk's use of the system, similarly to a contextual inquiry. I also noted these additional problems:
It took a long time for Jasmine and Danielle to locate where they were within a given day's appointments. They could not easy to see when the past and next appointments were in this console.
There was a lot of misused space in the top calendar view
Connecting the problems to the design solutions...
1. Hard to tell how many appointments of each type there are
2. Side panel not useful
3. No way to easily see insurance information.
4. No way to see where you are within a day's appointments.
5. Misused space in calendar
Make circles more visible (larger with bolder colors)
Allow users to see exactly how many appointments of a procedure type are done and left when hovering over the respective circle
Invert the colors so that the beginning of the day starts with the fully colored circle and subtracts as the day goes on.
Eliminate the redundant side panel
Add Insurance Carrier information in separate column
Visually display where you are within a day. Grey = past, white = future appointments.
Eliminate the key
Increase the width of the calendar
Move the total number of appointments to the top right corner for better visibility (and to maximize room for circles)
Final Implemented Design
At the end of my internship, I was able to better visually communicate PatientPal's mission not only to those outside of the company, but also to those using the interface. This console design has been deployed and is now being used across all PatientPal clinics.