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Connected Care

Timeline

16 Weeks (Sep-Dec 2019)

My Role

UX/UI, Research, Visual Design

Tools

Adobe XD, Photoshop, Illustrator 

Team Size

4 -> 1

A futuristic digital ID badge that connects nurses and families of residents in assisted living facilities.

This project was initially part of a course, User-Centered Design. After the completion of the course, I conducted additional usability testing and further iterated the product design to better support healthcare workers in assisted living.

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PROBLEM

The hectic workloads of the nurses and the lack of a shared communication system creates challenges to provide accurate information to families of residents in assisted living in a timely manner. 

Based on data collected from 10 in-person interviews, 22 survey responses, and online research, I found the following:

71 % 

Residents experiencing mild to severe cognitive impairment in the U.S. rely on nurses for status updates

78 % 

Nurses reported they are often too occupied to answer phone calls from families of residents

15~25 Mins 

Estimated phone call wait time for families of residents who want to learn about their loved one's status 

OPPORTUNITY

How might we improve communication between assisted living staff to better support and involve the families of residents? 

Thin (3 mm)
Lightweight (5 gm)
Secure
( Touch ID )
Concept: 

Can be easily worn around the neck and carried around like a mini work tablet.

DESIGN OUTCOME

Why a digital name badge? 

Nurses are often busy taking care of residents, traveling from room to room. Considering the importance of portability and accessibility, the concept of a futuristic digital ID name badge emerged. 

01.

Quickly search for a resident's profile

Registered nurses can quickly access a resident's profile and get a snapshot of their daily activities and medical information. 

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02.

Share resident's info

with other staff

Store and check out residents' status updates and care notes left by other staff members to streamline communication. 

03.

Respond to family's concerns

Registered nurses can gather insights from other staff members and quickly respond to family's messages at their fingertips. 

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PROCESS

Building Connected Care

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22  Survey Responses
07  User Interviews
01  Contextual Inquiry
Affinity Mapping
Statistical Analysis
User Personas
Wireframing 
3D Design Concept
Low-fi & Mid-fi Prototypes 
05 Usability Testing
       Design Insights
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DISCOVERY
DEFINE
DESIGN
EVALUATION
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03  User Interviews
      Online Research
User Journey
Communication Flow
Final Design
05  Usability Testing
       Design Insights
DEFINE THE PROBLEM

Families of residents can't get a hold of nurses

to get status updates of their loved ones  

An assisted living facility is a complex space that multiple stakeholders are involved. My team and I applied a mixed method of research to dive deep into this space and identify the communication gap.

 

I proposed creating a user journey map to surface key touchpoints and user scenarios. 

Nursing Station
Nurses
Family Calls the facility
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Receptionist 
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Most requests from the families are regarding a residents' general status (e.g. eating, medication taken). 

Insight 1

Due to HIPPA regulation, only health workers and admins have access to residents' medical information. 

Insight 3

Nurses have a hectic schedule as each of them provides care to  about 10 - 12 residents every shift.

Insight 2

TL;DR Internal communication within the facilities needs to be improved for more efficient communication with families of residents. 

PERSONAS

Why the focus on nurses?

Registered nurses (RNs) are designated as the target users because they are the ones who are primarily responsible for communicating the resident's daily status and medical information to family members.

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"I know the families want to talk...but sometimes we just don't have the time and capacity for it. "
PRIMARY USER
Nurses
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Family of Resident
"My dad has Alzheimer, I feel like I'm being cut off from him when I can't learn about his condition from the nurse. I have mixed feelings of both guilt and frustration." 
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Resident
*Although residents are not directly involved in the communication process, it's still important to consider any negative effects the solution might have on them. 
SETTING EXPECTATIONS

Design Goals & Metrics 

Physical product should be lightweight and can be easily carried around.

Form Factor 
Nurses need to travel from room to room to provide care to patients. They need something that's portable and safe for residents (e.g. minimizes the risk of accidents with the device). 

Provide nurses with quick access to resident's profile and information. 

Navigation
Nurses are always on the go. It's important to consider what information they need quick access to in order to reply to family members of residents in a timely manner. 

Design should be clean and intuitive, and follow the Material Design Guideline. 

Visual 
Working in a high intensive environment 
can imposes a lot of stress on nurses. It's critical to consider using simple icons and cool colors that convey the idea of calmness and serenity. 

Metrics:

Happiness (Perceived Ease of Use) 

01.

To measure whether users are happy and satisfied with the overall system and features. Evaluate user attitudes, behavior and emotions. 

02.

Task Success (Task Completion Rate) 

To measure the effectiveness of features and how well they align with users' expectations. I used it to benchmark and compare results of usability testing. 

IDEATION 

Exploring different ideas before landing on the one

Twelve ideas, ranging from a robot to an index card booklet, were being explored by our team. The digital name badge was chosen as the final solution due to its portability.

 

The system will be embedded in a physical badge that nurses can easily carry around with them as they're always on the go. 

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WIREFRAME & USER FLOW

Creating an early testable

prototype 

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1
HOME
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RESIDENT'S PROFILE
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SEARCH RESIDENTS
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MESSAGES FROM FAMILY
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NURSE'S MESSAGES
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RESPOND TO MESSAGE
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NURSE'S SCHEDULE
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RESIDENT'S CARE NOTES
WIREFRAME & USER FLOW

Creating an early testable prototype 

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1
HOME
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RESIDENT'S PROFILE
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SEARCH RESIDENTS
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MESSAGES FROM FAMILY
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NURSE'S MESSAGES
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RESPOND TO MESSAGE
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NURSE'S SCHEDULE
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RESIDENT'S CARE NOTES

Iteration 1

VALIDATION OF DESIGN

Why two rounds of usability testing? 

In the first round of usability testing, my team and I uncovered several major issues regarding navigation of the system. I also realized that we had overgeneralized the roles of nurses in assisted living and that they might have different information needs.

In an attempt to address these issues, I conducted more interviews with nurses and another round of usability issues on my own to validate and refine the design. 

In my assisted living facility, they want the RNs to communicate to the family, not the CNAs.

It's hierarchal. There's some politics involved.

A quote from a CNA at the end of a usability testing session. 

*CNA = Certified Nursing Assistant        RN = Registered Nurse

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MAIN ITERATIONS

Evolving towards a better and tailored experience for Registered Nurses

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Iteration 1

Iteration 2

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Final Design

1
Tabs were confusing and needed to be clearly defined between nurse and resident. 
2
Registered Nurses (RNs) needed a quick snapshot into their daily tasks and resident's activities. 
3
Messages from family should always be presented at the bottom as the main goal is to bridge the communication gap. 

"I'm constantly confused between my tabs and the resident's tabs. Which ones will lead to my inbox and which ones will lead to a resident's inbox?"

                                                      - Usability Testing 1 &2 

"The RNs are like our managers, they need high level information to communicate with families of residents."

                                                     

                                                     

                                                      - Usability Testing 1 &2 

"By the time I finished reading through the care notes, I already forgot most of it. I have to go back and read it one more time before replying to the family member of Joe." 

                                                            - Usability Testing 2 

Visual Guideline

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Final Design

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Nurse's Testimonial

Registered Nurse, Melinda

“I like having all that information right at my fingertips, especially given how busy we're in assisted living. It’s so much more convenient than what we had.”

REFLECTION

Looking back and running forward 

The biggest takeaways that I learned from this project include always returning focus to the design challenge, not getting caught up on aesthetic details, and not expanding the scope of a project because of new and exciting findings.

What can be next? Consider how things might look like on the other end - families of residents who are the recipient of this communication system. 

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Early Concept of a Companion App for Families of Residents

Feel free to check out my other projects :) 

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