Published on February 22nd, 2021
Do you know that today, doctors spend 40% less time with patients than they did in the 1980s? Inefficient healthcare systems are a rising problem globally. The healthcare industry is going through a significant burnout phase and needs a considerable transformation. New systems are essential to improve service delivery. For example, the patient’s data could be stored in one area electronically and in an interconnected manner. This reduces the amount of time spent looking through the patient’s records, and as a result, eliminates the confusion and frustration that comes along.
There are pioneers, who are instrumental in this transformation. They create healthcare applications to effectively connect patients and healthcare providers. You can find a few examples of apps here:
https://www.purrweb.com/services/ui-ux/. Once you explore the functionality of such solutions, you will spot some of the best practices that could ensure a better healthcare system.
Include Patients in Design
For a health system to work as intended, it should meet the needs of users — mainly, the patients. A typical design process should start with workshops where stakeholders and users meet. The designers interact with all parties and analyze their motivation, behavior, and goals. From such an analysis, they know how to meet the needs of everyone.
Patients are the primary users in any healthcare system. Reluctance to involve them from the first stage increases the chances of failure. Even in professional systems that the patient does not use, the needs of the patient still come first. It’s always a question of how best to benefit them.
Start on a Small Scale
It would be unwise to do a complete overhaul of the system and implement a new one. It always sounds good in theory but may fail in application. Healthcare is a very delicate industry, which requires cautious and tactical change. It would be best to introduce new systems on a small scale, which ensures a low risk. This gives designers time to identify how the system works in the facility and prevent any upcoming problems. Rectifying the issues is more comfortable at that stage, as the primary system is undisrupted. The slow transition also ensures that parties involved witness the new healthcare system’s benefits and are more likely to buy into it.
This refers to the ability of groups to work together. The lack of collaboration in the health systems globally is a huge concern. Most entities consider cooperation between departments or hospitals as a venture with a low reward. This is because of the belief that patients visit one hospital regularly. Increased mobility in the modern world negates that view, which makes interoperability important. People need to access the preferred healthcare system despite their location. Developers should use APIs to allow applications to work together for more innovations.
Establishing a good connection between healthcare devices and procedures ensures better care for the patient. Such integration is at the center of the borderless hospital system. This is where patients can access healthcare services without physically going to the hospital. For this to work, there needs to be seamless interoperability between all systems involved in healthcare.
Provide for Care Outside the Hospital
People are gaining more interest in and understanding of their health. Now, they do not seek a one-time consultation with a doctor. They are looking for a continuous and wholesome healthcare experience instead. Thus, it is essential to develop a system that offers support and guidance to people outside the hospital setting. They can get access to their medical reports, which helps them understand their needs better. People get more control over their health, which saves time wasted on unnecessary doctor visits. Medical practitioners can also give an accurate diagnosis within a short period since they have everything in one place.
Put the Developers in a Hospital Setting
The best way to design anything is to understand the user. To have a clearer picture, developers could stay in a hospital setting for a while to know how it works. This way, they may develop the most effective solution as they experience the issues first-hand. Having developers in a hospital setting may also improve the collaboration of the staff and the patients. They can communicate their ideas of a user-friendly system or give their preferences.
Auckland City Hospital tried this method by creating a design lab in the hospital. The lab provided designers with unmatched access to health workers and patients. Developers could also recreate hospital scenarios to test out their systems.
Numerous experiments aid in identifying issues with the system before it’s implemented. Developers could introduce the early version of the system and then ask for feedback from patients and medical practitioners. They can then change the design to align with their needs. This reduces the frustration that users experience with new systems because you provide what they actually want. The more tests you hold, the higher the success rate of the system. This also gives room for other bodies like the FDA to give their input.
Understand the Target Problem
Healthcare organizations struggle with relating innovation to value. This is because of the fascination with technology and not the problems on the ground. To ensure that the healthcare system is user-friendly, it should address the issues that the user faces. Therefore, the development process should not begin with identifying a design. Instead, it should start by identifying a problem that requires a solution. This way, developers can meet precise needs through innovation.
There are numerous challenges to conquer when making healthcare systems more efficient. The primary step is to consider the needs of patients and clinicians. The minimum goal of a healthcare system is to solve a problem in the healthcare procedure. Other considerations like how easy it is to use the system are also important. A system that is too complex for patients or health workers is useless. The system’s design has a significant influence on how people approach their health due to the kind of support they access.