Solve a service design challenge during an 8-week design sprint. In a team of 4, we chose to focus on health and wellness to redesign the waiting room experience for Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides sexual health care to people in the United States. Their mission is to provide care no matter what with serving over 200 million people per year, so long wait times are typical. 88% of patients at Planned Parenthood are living at or below the federal poverty line.
This was an academic project, we had no affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
We worked collaboratively on the research and design portion of this project. I facilitated the user interviews and conducted surveys which got almost 200 responses and created the initial low-fi prototype screens of our interface.
The main problem we identified is that there is no streamlined platform for patients to access information personalized to them. Instead, the search for information is scattered across different platforms. Planned Parenthood’s website has useful information to prepare patients for their visit, however we discovered there is a lack of engagement with their content online.
To bridge this gap, we created an individualized hub for patients to access information at the right place and time. Patients will receive nudge texts with a link to learn more about their appointment with curated information based on their health services.
Many of Planned Parenthood’s patient demographics include 18 - 24 year olds who don’t want their parents or partners finding out about their appointment. From our user testing we discovered that patients want to leave a minimal digital trail and worry less about their privacy.
One challenge we ran into is how to organize this information to prevent cognitive overload. We tailored the information based on when it would be most relevant and useful for them.
We conducted a survey to understand people’s waiting room experience and received almost 200 responses.
We conducted netnography to understand users' pain points during their waiting experience at Planned Parenthood across Los Angeles.
Two of our team members went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to observe and better understand the current customer journey experience.
We interviewed an office manager to better understand why waiting rooms are the way they are. She said that patients,
“...like to be informed, they don’t like to be waiting in the dark.” - Laura G. Office Manager
Because of that, we want to help patients feel they know what to expect and aren’t left with the anxiety of not knowing. The more transparent we can be, the more they’ll feel better prepared.
From observing the patient journey map, we identified two major stages. The first stage is 48 hours before the patient's appointment. This is usually when patients mentally prepare themselves and clear out any logistical tasks such as taking time off work, figuring out insurance cost, and researching what to expect. Because of that, we created text reminders for patients to start the check-in process early and to find information they would have already been looking for by this point.
The 2nd most important stage is when the patient is already in the waiting room. By this point, they’re looking for something to make the time pass faster. From our survey results, most people understood that the wait time cannot be changed because that’s up to the medical staff treating patients behind the scenes.
From these findings, we were able to create a blueprint service map that highlighted 3 backend systems. Planned Parenthood already has information readily available such as building access, appointment, and billing information. We want to connect pre-existing information from the backend to come together in the our interface. We’ll provide patients relevant information rather than have them search for it.
We conducted user testing with three different Planned Parenthood patients. When asked about how anonymous the reminder texts should be, one user said,
“Thinking about people in other situations where maybe they don’t live in a safe environment, keeping it more vague is protecting the safety of the patients.” - Chandelle
We performed card sorting to find out what information patients want at three different stages of the appointment experience. We asked participants to categorize the sticky notes into three sections and rank them from most important to least important.
We had one week to finalize our prototype so we focused on designing the key features of our interface.
Unique access code
We would like to build more security to our interface by providing patients with a unique code to access their personalized appointment page via email.
Another thing we’d love to tackle is how to fill out medical forms in advance. From our user testing, almost every person said they would be most interested in this feature because they would love to get it out of the way before their appointment and to save check-in time.
Payment and insurance costs
We want to create something to make payment and insurance cost easier for the patients to navigate. One patient we interviewed shared a story with us about how she wished she was informed about different payment resources Planned Parenthood offers like family pact and student discounts for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket. She wishes there was a cost calculator and easily found page with all those payment resources available.