My role: Product designer / Content strategist
In the coordinated care model of patient care, providers treat patients as a team with the primary care doctor at the center. This team-based approach requires nimble ways of communicating while seeing patients. Email wasn’t cutting it, so Swedish Medical Group descided to find a more convenient way for providers, clinic administrators and medical group leadership to share their expertise, collaborate and provide care more efficiently.
The average worker spends 79 days a year in their inbox. We wanted to find a better way for Swedish.
DocSpot, powered by Jive Software, combined messaging, file sharing and notification capabilities that providers, clinic administrators and medical group leadership could use seamlessly to establish this team-based care approach. The collaboration platform was implemented to help drive teambuilding strategic priorities: physician leadership, cross-discipline work groups and expert-to-expert knowledge sharing.
From project manager to designer
My initial role was project manager but quickly morphed into UX design, site configuration, and community management. I worked closely with Swedish Medical Group leadership and individual providers to understand their needs and working environment, including access to and use of technology. From our interviews, we learned a doctor’s day is focused on one-on-one interaction with patients—time at a computer often came at the end of the day or during short breaks between patients. It became apparent a mobile-device approach would need to be a focal point. 2 out of 5 physicians said they went online during patient consultations with the majority of the time on a mobile device.
The small size of our team meant I helped with training and content creation as well. This included designing and writing content for the site (how-to articles, medical group news, bios, online video tutorials and more).
Defining personas, use cases and the initial pilot
We started with goals we defined with the medical group leadership.
- Build connection and relationships among Swedish providers
- Communicate and manage communications around strategic direction
- Share ideas and motivate learning of best practices
- Help onboard new physicians and integrate new clincs
To gain broader buy-in from leadership, we ran an initial pilot with leadership committees who used DocSpot for their meeting agendas, shared resources, notetaking and collaboration. In phase 2, we expanded to additional interest groups, building up to 550+ users and 2000+ pieces of content.
What I learned
No tool alone can change people’s behaviors and communication styles. Just as it was important to understand how our users approached their communication technologies, it was doubly important to understand their social and behavior styles around problem solving in the patient-care space. We were tasked not only with designing and implementing a communications solution, but also nudging providers accustomed to working independently to make decisions as a team.
I learned that I loved the strategy, content creation and designing the individual solutions to the requirements we gathered—more so than the day-to-day community management. The autonomy and trust afforded to the team by leadership empowered us to stay nimble, reslilient and get a lot of work done. We learned we needed strategic use cases, and couldn't rely on first-come, first-serve adoption. These use cases needed to be tied to a business problem and organizational priorities of not only leadership, but also project management and change facilitators in the system. Alignment is crucial.
I enjoyed the complexity of the healthcare space and the opportunity to bring UX thinking to patient care.