Designing digital experiences
Prototyping the clinic experience
Creating research tools
Conducting user research
Leading co-creation workshop
14-week professional project
rethinking and redesigning
the patient experience for
a physical therapy client
Concept digital dashboard for therapists and app for patients to co-create and monitor their treatment
How might we support physical therapy patients before, during, and after their care? The current patient journey can feel a bit like a conveyor belt. Patients experience pain or injury, complete a series of therapy sessions, and then are "discharged"–quickly losing connection with their physical therapist and treatment.
Originally, our client, a physical therapy company, was looking for a technology first solution. However, we helped them to reframe the challenge through a patient-centric perspective to rethink the entire physical therapy experience.
One of the many clinics that we visited in Illinois and Iowa
We worked closely with therapists to cocreate concepts
A handwritten exercise sheet that lacks that's common for patients who are in PT
Our research and user tests suggested the need for multiple design interventions throughout the patient journey. In order to address the before, during, and after moments of the patient journey, we created seven experiences such as a new role in the clinic and a roadmap for an internal innovation lab. I designed the following experiences.
Patient App - A smartphone application that creates continuous touchpoints to connect patients to their care during and after treatment.
Our research insights revealed that patients were often left to figure things out themselves. I created this prototype to show our client the importance of guiding patients through their at-home exercises and connecting them to their therapist.
Therapist Digital Toolkit - A digital Dashboard, Treatment Plan, and Progress Tracker that facilitates side-by-side care and empowers patients to take ownership of their treatment through input and understanding.
We learned that most patients have no idea why their therapists are prescribing certain treatments. This dashboard prototype shows how patients could be included in and educated about their treatment plan.
Patient Experience Playbook -
A resource to help trainers and coordinators approach the key patient journey moments in thoughtful ways. This ensures patients feel confident, listened to, and accountable.
This playbook and several other deliverables are aimed at helping our client transform their organization into one that is more patient-centered.
We approached this challenge through a patient-centric lens. We conducted research with a focus on speaking to therapists in their clinics and patients in their homes. In order to get rich stories, I designed research tools such as a card sorting exercise to help our participants prioritize important moments during therapy. We also hosted co-creation sessions with therapists and built
a mock-up clinic to prototype an improved journey with real patients.
A participant reacting to several future physical therapy concepts
A participant telling us about her physical therapy experience rehabing her wrist
A participant showing us how he deals with backpain
A research exercise asking our participant to tell us more about their PT experience
Card shorting exercise on what's important during physical therapy
We heard heartwarming stories of success and difficult stories of struggle. These stories from the field stayed with us and the client throughout the project. The insights from research–the lack of connection to a therapist post-treatment or ineffective motivation and management of home exercises–led to our decision to design for the entire patient journey. We identified three additional moments in the patient journey to create a continuous patient journey. Our prototypes address one or more new areas of the new and circular patient journey.
Existing Patient Journey - We created the existing patient journey based on our in-home interviews with patients and observational research in the clinics. In particular, we learned that patients often wait before seeking help for injury. And after they finish the prescribed amount of therapy, they want to continuously engage with their therapist.
Circular Patient Journey - We recreated the patient journey so that patients can stay connected with their therapist for continuous support. We also focused on enhancing the in-clinic experience so patients feel empowered to take ownership of their care.
We included our client team in our process from day one. Because of their close involvement in research and co-creation, our client team became the voice of the patients and were presenting cases to their leadership team for why they believed some concepts needed to be implemented. Since this project, we completed a follow-on project focused on the development and launch of the patient experience app.
During one of our visits, we saw a clinician walking a patient to her car. This was a best-in-class moment that we hope to see in every clinic