How might we help hospital admins quickly take corrective action?
Our client, MeshCandy, is an Internet-of-Things startup that installs wireless radio sensors or "tags" on medical assets to enable automated environmental monitoring, location-tracking, and inventory counts to help hospitals pass audits.
MeshCandy asked us to build a dashboard for healthcare customers. They already had a mobile app, and requested a desktop dashboard design.
Our biggest initial question was: what is the purpose of the dashboard, and what should we display on it?
Tools and methods we used were:
- user interviews
- competitive analysis
- paper prototypes
We delivered a lo-fi prototype, a user research report, and recommendations. Post-project, I used our work to produce a high fidelity color prototype.
Tools & Methods
Because we wanted to talk to end users for needs-finding, but didn't have direct access to them, we conducted interviews with healthcare professionals who fit the archetype of MeshCandy's customers: a medical student, a reproductive health care clinic specialist, and MeshCandy's sales director, who often integrates with customers.
Discovering the Problem
- Hospitals are required to track environmental measurements for assets such as fridges for blood samples and operating rooms. When a measurement goes out of scope, a nurse or admin must assess the severity of the infraction, take corrective action as necessary, and log the issue for auditing purposes.
- Hospital also need to generate environmental monitoring reports and asset reports for audits. Asset and inventory-type work tend to fall on nurses, not doctors.
- Many healthcare facilities document environmental measurements on paper ledgers.
- When preparing for an audit, clinics often have a week to scramble to provide the documentation needed.
MeshCandy's mental model of their value is that they:
- Install tags/sensors on customer's equipment
- Provide real-time, aggregated, or filtered data about the equipment
Hospitals' mental model of MeshCandy's value is:
- Providing alerts about environmental monitoring issues
- Logging corrective action taken in response to issues
- Generating environmental monitoring reports
Create a dashboard that:
- Helps admins quickly see what environmental issues need attention
- Incentivizes admins to resolve them
- Give admins an overview of how the hundreds of assets are performing
Dashboard Version 1
This was an initial version of the dashboard. The key goals of this dashboard were to:
- Give her a quick overview of her equipment
- Highlight currently unresolved issues
- Show trends to help her notice recurring issues so she can take preventative measures
We conducted usability testing with 3 users and learned that all of the data we were displaying was a bit overwhelming, and that the dashboard didn't feel actionable.
Dashboard Version 2
In the second iteration, we drilled down on the key task of the hospital admin: to quickly take corrective action and log issues. We decided to display issues in a card form so that users can:
- Take each issue seriously and individually, as it is easy to gloss over issues when they are sitting in a database
- Give users a way to track progress, as users have to leave their desk to resolve an issue, and not all issues can be immediately resolved
We also decided to display some analytics in a location-oriented format so that users can:
- Resolve multiple issues in one trip
- Prevent future issues from occurring by identifying locations that tend to cause trouble
We brainstormed two layouts for filtering search results and wanted to identify the better-performing one, so we conducted guerrilla A/B tests with 5 users. We asked each user to filter for "temperature", "rooms", and "4th floor" and timed the users on how long it took to complete the task.
Filter Option 1
Filter Option 2
Users vocalized a preference for option 1 because they enjoyed the icons. However, their average task completion time was 19 seconds.
Users found option 2 to be straightforward. It took less time to parse, required less mouse movement and users took 8 seconds.
Proposed Visual Design
Dashboard Home Page
Not all issues can be immediately resolved, so we have the "Open Issue", "In Progress" and "Resolved" columns to track progress.
An interviewee said "nobody loves databases", so we gamified the issue resolution experience by presenting issues in cards instead of a database.
To isolate important issues, we color-coded the cards by priority.
We visualized issues by location so the user can resolve multiple issues on one trip.
To incentivize the user to resolve issues, we display performance metrics.
For a complete view of both resolved and unresolved issues, users can refer to the issues log.
Unresolved issues are highlighted and have a bright "Resolve Now" call to action.
Resolved issues are grayed out, but users can still see what corrective action was taken through "View Log."
To find a specific issue, users have multiple filtering and search options.
Environmental Monitoring Report Page
We integrated the usability testing learnings and kept the icons but streamlined the checkbox filtering options vertically to minimize eyeball and mouse movement.
The client of this project, MeshCandy, recently graduated from an incubator and plans on implementing the web dashboard after they finish trials with their current set of hospital clients.