The UX of Medical Reports

Redesign of pre-natal dating scan reports

Kurien Kalarickal
Dec 28, 2018 · 3 min read

So, my sis (in-law) messaged me her 1st-trimester check-up report, with the pic of the foetus. I joked that it looks like she is pregnant with a bird inside her.

“Yeah, I still haven’t figured out which way to look at this! But now that you said it…” — Her.

I looked at the rest of the scan report and let’s just say, that I only understood the prepositions and conjunctions in that whole document:

When I asked her what she understood from the report, she went, “ALL OK!”. That is obviously the expected response. She hadn’t even read it. One requires a medical degree to understand what’s going on in that report.

Unless…

…one is as jobless (literally) as me to go and research all the jargon and come up with a report format that is palatable by normal folks. This is not a big UX project. I just decided to take a break from all that job hunt. Of course, the above report works well for the doctor but it is hardly usable by the other user — y’know, the patient. My user research sample size is one. And my usability testing sample size is also one. No points for guessing who the one is.

Content Strategy

  1. Exclude all info the patient doesn’t care about or doesn’t need to care about. For example, the cervical length is irrelevant at 12 weeks and is used much later to predict pre-term.
  2. Highlight relevant data and present it in context. For example, saying NT is 1.5 mm doesn’t mean anything for the patient. What is NT? What does it measure? What is its normal range?
  3. Use a conversational tone. The report is read by a human, not fed as data into an AI chatbot. (I swear chatbots sound more human than medical reports though.)

I did quite a bit of research that I am fairly certain I won't feel trapped if I am at a party full of obgyns. Anyway, here you go. My redesign:

Success metrics and methodology were basically:

“Hey, which version do you prefer?” — Me.

“Seriously? It’s only now that I got my head around these things. And the design is also… well, the other one didn’t have any. We need this to be done on all the reports” — Her.

Thanks for reading my nano UX project. Maybe I am missing out something really obviously big in the report. If you belong to Order Obgyn, let me know? Maybe it doesn’t hurt to do something like this for all medical reports. We could have the jargony one AND the sensible one.

Ok. Back to job hunt. la la la.

Happy New Year all!

Credits

Graphics from freepik.com. And all that baby knowledge from babycentre.co.uk

Revision history

  1. Changed highlight colour from non-contrasty orange to contrastier blue. Added next appointment date in conclusion paragraph. Thank you, Menaka Chandrasekhar for the suggestions. 28Dec2018

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade