Adapting athenahealth's Patient Portal

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The Challenge

Healthcare is not one-size-fits-all, and the online patient portal experience should reflect that.
Informed by the challenges of motherhood and the current direction of Consumer Health at athenahealth, I proposed design solutions to make the patient-facing healthcare portal sensitive to the needs of postpartum mothers.
I expanded on the existing portal framework to make it easier for mothers to address their mental health, find relevant and reliable information, and manage healthcare for their families.

My Role

UX Research, Ideation, UX Design, Prototyping

Our Team

Individual Project, Supervised by Claire Kohler

Context

Spring 2021 Master's Capstone Project

Allowing for discovery enabled me to properly address the needs of postpartum mothers

PROJECT PROCESS

In taking a blue-skies approach to this project, it was especially important for me to start broad in both research and design, allowing me to gather as much information and ideate as much as possible, before narrowing the scope to focus in on specific challenges and solutions.

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A variety of research tools were necessary to help me fully understand the user and to translate research into design

MAIN RESEARCH QUESTIONS
MAIN RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Conducting generative interviews via UserTesting.com was essential in understanding the needs of the users and the variety of experiences that women had, from pregnancy through postpartum

01
What are the key challenges of the postpartum experience?
02
What kinds of technologies are mothers using?
03
How can we more effectively help new mothers find answers to their questions?
04
How can we provide support for the mental health challenges that mothers are facing?
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Gave birth in the last 3-12 months
5
18-26 years old
5
27-35 years old
5
15
participants total
36+ years old
RESEARCH POINTED TO 4 KEY POSTPARTUM TASK AREAS

Use sleep tracker patterns to inform schedule
Check O2 & Sleep baby monitors for peace of mind
Check smartwatches for personal health
Put notes in phone to track healthcare issues
Access portal to track vaccinations and appointment adherence

Tracking and Data

Read internet articles or mom-focused forums
Reach out to moms in personal network
Email or message OBGYN with non-urgent questions
Reference weekly newsletters from doctors or hospitals
Consult apps for information specific to newborn’s age

Information Seeking

Newborn Healthcare

Visit pediatrician routinely
Manage insurance coverage and claims
Message, call, or visit pediatrician with questions
Monitor their health and irregularities at home
Find specialists as needed

Complete self-assessments throughout
Check with doctors to see if it’s more serious
Participate in counseling
Contact doctor if antidepressants are needed

Managing Mental Health

UNDERSTANDING THE JOURNEY FROM PREGNANCY TO POSTPARTUM

Examining the experience of mothers from pregnancy to postpartum based on feedback from the interviews helped me identify pain points, finding that the most complex pain points exist in the postpartum stage

Click on the image to magnify and scroll!
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NARROWING THE SCOPE
Based on my findings, it will be beneficial for me to focus on...

Complete self-assessments throughout
Check with doctors to see if it’s more serious
Participate in counseling
Contact doctor if antidepressants are needed

Managing Mental Health

Read internet articles or mom-focused forums
Reach out to moms in personal network
Email or message OBGYN with non-urgent questions
Reference weekly newsletters from doctors or hospitals
Consult apps for information specific to newborn’s age

Information Seeking

UNDERSTANDING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION THROUGH AN EMPATHY MAP

Collecting feedback from mothers about their experiences with Postpartum Depression helped me to empathize with an unfamiliar experience and begin to see the challenges for which we should provide more support.

Key Moments:

I feel...

Alone and unprepared

I think...

I don't know how I'm going to handle this

I say...

How do I know if this is normal?

What I do...

Isolate myself

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INFORMAL AUDIT OF COMPETITORS TO IDENTIFY FEATURES AND CONVENTIONS
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HOW MIGHT WE...

Incorporate resources into users’ busy lifestyles?
Be especially empathetic when users need it most?
Help women feel less alone?
Identify PPD in those who don’t realize they have it?
Guide women to understand their experiences?
Clarify the care plan for women with PPD?

Ensure women are assessing their postpartum depression throughout their care plan?
Provide less intensive support for women without PPD?
Identify coping strategies that work for each woman?
Allow women to explore and implement different coping strategies?

Leverage existing messaging infrastructure to provide check-ins?