The Medical industry has a complex relationship with technology. On the executive side, contemporary analytics software allows hospital executives to discover growth opportunities, manage large networks and lower care cost. At the same time on the care side, physicians and medical staff are often forced to change their workflow to accommodate the utilization of ineffective EHRs, struggle with lack of data integration, and rely on outdated hardware. The introduction of new software is always received with great skepticism and mistrust.
This is the environment within which we had to develop and introduce our product. The product had to be highly usable and its benefits visible from the very first glance at the UI. However, the incredible willingness of the users to provide quality feedback and assistance helped me meet those expectations.
One of the biggest challenges in designing the application came from the great complexity and diversity of existing processes that the software had to accommodate. If a workflow scenario was omitted or missed the software could become useless for an entire segment of our users. Using workflow diagrams became one of my most powerful design tools, which ensured a clear communication within the development team and with clients.
Our final goal was to emerge from all this complexity with simple, clear and intuitive interface. We have accommodated the user needs through two key interfaces: the referral dashboard that allowed users to manage their referrals (think Kanban board) and the referral form/detail - a document that contained information and tracked the status of individual patients (think Jira ticket). Both had to be optimized for both power users and low utilization users.
From the start of the project our team worked at a startup pace. We were working on the first workflow product of the company and we had a steep learning curve ahead of us. We continuously worked on finding ways to improve cross-team communication and collaboration in order to improve the efficiency and quality of our work. My discovery process, user research, and deliverables evolved to build empathy with the user and inspire product ownership across the entire team.