How do we encourage and facilitate information sharing across Swedish Medical Group?
I designed the information architecture, page, and content components of a web-based collaboration tool used by Swedish Medical Group called DocSpot. Users included providers, their support staff, and Swedish Medical Group (SMG) leadership committees.
Tools for facilitating team-based medicine
In the coordinated care model, 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. Our objective was to find a more convenient way than email for providers, clinic administrators, and medical group leaders to share their expertise, collaborate, and make care decisions more efficiently.
Jive Software, provided the best mix of features: messaging, file sharing, mobile capabilities and notifications.
Project goals, initial pilot and personas
I worked with SMG leadership, eHealth strategists, and Jive Software consultants to shape these goals for the DocSpot platform.
- Build connection and relationships among Swedish providers
- Communicate and manage communications around a strategic direction
- Share ideas and motivate learning of best practices
- Help onboard new physicians and integrate new clinics
To gain broader buy-in from leadership, we ran a pilot with leadership committees who used DocSpot for their meeting agendas, shared resources, notetaking, and collaboration. The pilot included 550+ users and 2000+ pieces of content.
Form contextual inquiries, I created 3 guiding personas: the experienced doctor serving on leadership committees, the clinic manager and a provider new to Swedish that helped guide pilot use cases and groups.
Based on what we heard from users, we knew we'd have to design a platform with a great deal of redundancy and multiple paths to reaching content. Users would need to understand what content types they could create and find from the get-go. We couldn't expect this audience to go through how-to tutorials. Searching and tagging would have to be robust enough to ease discovery.
Information architect was one of the hats I wore on this project. I was also responsible for creating seed content, training users on how to create pages and content, and collecting feedback that helped define the navigation, page components, and training materials we used.
The initial result of the pilot was a complex, diffuse site structure. Categories were difficult to box-in in this open and changing system. I was constantly revisiting and looking for ways to consolidate the 300+ groups and their group page components, layouts and permissions. It was a daunting, but rewarding weekly exercise.
Group Template Strategy
Taking the learnings of the pilot, I created group page templates that be copied and pasted. Anyone using DocSpot could create and configure one of these groups. The group templates had uniform structures, layouts, and permissions—and made it easier to categorize and define use cases. It also allowed the platform to grow, and our small team to continue to manage and scale DocSpot to everyone in the Swedish system.
No tool alone can change people’s behaviors and communication patterns. Just as it was important to understand how our users approached their communication technologies, it was also critical to understand the social and behavioral aspects of medical care. We were tasked not only with designing and implementing a communications solution but also nudging providers accustomed to working independently to coordinate and make decisions as a team.
I learned that I loved the strategy, research, use-case definition, and designing DocSpot much more than the day-to-day community management and evangelism of the platform. I'm grateful that I had this opportunity to work on a team that had the autonomy and trust to experiment and move quickly. It helped us stay resilient and get a lot of work done quickly.
We did learn that we needed to slow down to concretely define strategic use cases, and couldn't rely on first-come, first-serve adoption. These use cases had to align with the goals of the tool, user needs, and the organizational priorities of project management and change facilitators in the Swedish system.
I enjoyed the complexity of the healthcare space and the opportunity to bring UX thinking to this project.