Healthcare Scheduling Filters

Finding the right appointment for your patient - Fast

Project Overview

Platform: 

Web Application

Tools: 

Adobe XD, Axure 8 

Methods:

Contextual Inquiry, Expert Interviews, Moderated Usability Testing

Project Type:

Individual

My Role:

User Researcher & UX Designer

Duration

Months

The Problem

"How can I help schedulers, working for healthcare practices of all sizes, quickly find the right appointment for their patient?"

The Process...

Initial Research

Research Methods

Contextual Inquiry | Affinity Diagram | Expert Interviews | Personas | Competitive Analysis

Research Details

I started this project by using a combination of online resources, contextual inquiry and expert interviews to address fundamental questions:

 

  • Who are my users?

  • How do different healthcare practices operate?

  • What are the main components of an appointment?

  • What is the process for selecting an appointment for a patient?

  • What are the most important considerations when scheduling appointments for patients?

  • Do different practices prioritize things differently when scheduling appointments for patients?

 

Initial Research Findings

During my initial research, I identified distinct groups of users, the main components of an appointment, and key factors which influence how each group schedules appointments. 

Who are my users?

One of the biggest challenges in this project was understanding who my users were and what their needs are when scheduling appointments for patients. From the information I gathered in my contextual inquiries and expert interviews, I identified three user personas:

One Office - One/Two Schedulers

Multi-Office - Multi-Scheduler

Many Offices - Call Center

  • Manage every aspect of the Physicians' schedules, including non-patient time
     

  • Know the providers' weekly schedules by heart
     

  • Are the first line of contact with patients
     

  • Physicians work within one office

  • Manage calendars across multiple locations
     

  • Physicians are in different offices every day of the week
     

  • Not as familiar with Physicians' schedules
     

  • Must work in tandem with Schedulers at other locations

  • Schedule into calendars of many physicians in various specialties
     

  • Often have to schedule multiple appointments for multiple members of a family at one time
     

  • Have no familiarity with the Physician's schedule
     

  • Have no in-the-head knowledge of which Providers patients prefer to see

What are the main components of an appointment?

In addition to identifying who my users are, it was important to determine the components of an appointment that are considered by users of all practices when scheduling appointments for patients. After talking to users from each group, I identified these key components:

 

  • Physician/Provider: Calendars, in most cases, belong to the Physician and patients will often have preferences for which Physician to see. Because of this, filtering by Physician/Provider is a top factor for Schedulers.
     

  • Appointment Type & Duration: After provider, the research showed that Schedulers were careful about which appointment type they selected for each patient because it influenced practice reporting and appointment durations.
     

  • Day and Time: The other major component to an appointment is the day and time. Quickly being able to find an appointment that fits into the patient's schedule is a most important factor when scheduling appointments. 

What factors do each user groups consider when scheduling appointments for patients?

Though the major components of appointments are considerations for all Schedulers, each user group had unique considerations to take into account when making appointments:

One Office - One/Two Schedulers

Multi-Office - Multi-Scheduler

Many Offices - Call Center

  • Wanted to know what the entire day schedule looks like for providers, because they will often double book appointments

  • Wanted to know what office/location each appointment was in
     

  • Wanted to know what the entire day schedule looks like for providers, because they will often double book appointments

  • Wanted to know what office/location each appointment was in
     

  • Wanted to know how far the office/location was from the patient
     

  • Wanted to find appointments that were exact fits as to not double book Provider's schedules
     

  • The Provider's specialty
     

  • If the Provider is in or out of the Patient's insurance network

Design - Round 1

Design Overview

I took the findings from my initial research to quickly sketch design solutions for the filters and escalated these designs to high-fidelity prototypes using Axure. 

Sketches

Prototype

User Testing

User Testing Overview

After the high-fidelity prototype was developed, I recruited 10 users. These 10 participants represented each of the three identified user groups: 2 from the One Office group, 3 from the Multi-Office group, and 5 from the Many Office group.  In this study, users were asked to schedule appointments for patients as if they were scheduling on behalf of their own practice.

User Testing Findings

From this study, the most significant finding was that users had various opinions based on which user group they belonged to. Top findings from this study were as follows:

 

  • One Office users reported having no use for filters other than the provider, day/time, and appointment type filters.
     

  • One Office users reported wanting to see a calendar view of provider schedules rather than using a filter.
     

  • Multi-Office users thought the department filter was helpful but had no use for the distance filter because they knew where the offices were located.
     

  • Multi-Office users had no use for the specialty filter.
     

  • Many Office users thought all filters were helpful, and that the distance filter would solve a lot of existing problems.
     

  • All users reported that collapsing filter sections was helpful and kept the filter panel from feeling overwhelming.
     

  • No users reported thinking the recent searches feature was useful, they preferred to manually enter filters.
     

  • All users thought the day/time filters were lowest priority.

Design - Round 2

Design Overview

I took the findings from the user research to re-design the high-fidelity prototypes. 

1/5

For more details about this project and other projects I've worked on, message me! 

© 2020 | Katie Hicks