Connecting patients and providers, through conversations.

Ankita Gupta Projects
8 min readFeb 11, 2018


How might we successfully establish and manage expectations before, during and after care.


Patient satisfaction is affected by how their expectations are met. But how do we identify which part of the expectation affects their satisfaction level. How do we involve the care team members in establishing the right and achievable expectations for patients.

Role: User Researcher and UX Designer

Duration: 10 weeks

Team members: Kevin Shaw, Michael Henderson

Questions to understand the problem space?

  • Whose expectations do we have to manage: the care team or the patients?
  • At what point in this journey are expectations established?
  • What are the basic expectations that a patient has from their care team
  • Does the care team have any expectations from their patients?
  • Where is the gap between the journey of expectations?
  • How does expectation affect patient’s satisfaction?

The following methods were used to answer our questions

Emotion mapping workshop with patient advisors

Why? To understand about patients good and bad experiences in their healthcare journey.

Emotion mapping workshop

We asked the participants to recall their most recent acute condition and their interaction with the hospital. While recalling this journey we asked them to map how they were feeling. After this quick mapping, we divided the participants into groups and while they were sharing and discussing their experience each researcher quickly noted down the themes coming out from each journey.

Literature Review

Why? To identify existing research and hospital findings on expectations

Intercept interviews with patients

Why? To understand what the word expectation means to a patient and what do they expect from their healthcare provider

We approached patients waiting in the hospital main lobby and in clinics and did 5 minute interviews asking them about their expectations from doctors. We purposely kept our questions vague and guided the questions to the topic the patient felt was important.

Workshop with hospital staff

Why? To identify what kind of patient expectations is presumed from the care team.

We divided the participants into 2 groups and asked them to list down what patients expect from them and what are their own expectations as a provider. We then asked them to map these into a matrix of doing well/unwell and important to patient/not important.

“At this point we realized that interviewing and synthesizing these notes took a lot of time, so we decided to do an hour long workshop with hospital staff. We got a lot of information in less amount of time that helped us understand who are particular stakeholders are in this particular hospital staff team.”

Observations and job shadows

Why? To see the kind patient-care team interactions happening during wait time and appointments.

Affinity mapping

Why? To synthesize the data into themes

  • Some patients prefer doctor expertise while some prefer time convenience of an intern
  • Patients expect results from their care team
  • Patients need information from their trusted source, be it their doctor or family or past patients.
  • Interactions are one of the key contributors to a patient’s expectations

The following methods were used to validate these findings:

Design Sprint

Why? To double-check if we have identified the right problem and test some probable solution directions

The whole innovation lab (comprising of 8 people) came together in one room for 3 days and finalized one “how might we”. We brainstormed ideas, role played the new idea, quickly prototyped it and tested it with patients and hospital staff.

Interviews with patients using scenarios

Why? To identify if patients could relate to this problem statement and how a solution will improve their care journey.

We designed a patient scenario with our concept and gave a walkthrough to the patients waiting in the lobby. We asked them questions if they could imagine themselves, their friends and family in such a scenario.

Interviews with triage nurses

Why? To identify if this concept is adding any value to the nurse’s work journey in the hospital.

We designed similar scenarios for nurses and asked their feedback on how this problem is affecting their work and interactions with the patients.

Co-design session

Why? To create ideas in a collaborative and get each other’s point of views and differences while thinking of solutions

We got together patient advocates, triage nurses, doctors, telephone support specialists in a room and gave them scenarios. We then asked them to imagine this problem in 2050 and gave them tools to discuss the problem, produce ideas, think of objections which might inhibit the solution and then provide solutions to those objections.

Madlibs session

Why? To create ideas from nurses who are the experts in interacting and setting expectations of patients.

We gave the patient scenario in the form of madlibs and gave the participants a 2050 premise of the problem. The madlib ended in an open-ended ending of the story and we wanted to see how the nurses would end this scenario in their way of thinking.

Problem statement redefined

Old problem statement: How might we successfully establish and manage expectations before, during and after care.

New problem statement: How might we successfully create a conversation tool for patients and providers.

The following methods were used to strategize the ideal solution:

Brainstorming and bodystorming

Our final solutions

The following methods helped us turn our ideas into reality:

Testing with patients

Initial testing of final concept. We also sent out surveys to doctors to get information about the tracking data they need from patients, to make our prototypes more relatable/contextual.


Implementing feedback from patients and information from doctors.


Final testing for our second version of prototype.

Design Decisions

From our research synthesis we found that patients want the choice to have a meaningful relation with their care team and be able to understand their care journey using personal health data.

Setting Context

The user will be using this tool at different points in their healthcare journey.

Before the doctor’s appointment, the user can set up their interests and goals in My Health Goals.

During the appointment the user and care team can review changes in health conditions by referencing Health Data.

After the appointment, the user can continue to enter their health data in Health Data to keep the care team informed on their condition.

Provide accurate health conditions

With the tool, patients can easily describe the level of pain they are experiencing on the specific body part.

This information is useful for providers but also helps the patients recall during medical appointments.

Simplified health data

Contextual health data visualized for users to understand how their lifestyle impacts their health conditions.

The visualization also provides actionable insights to users so that they can understand the triggers for specific health conditions.

Service blueprint

Why? To map out the journey of our stakeholder’s with the new service

Drafted a blueprint for the new service that we are recommending and how it will be involved in different stakeholder’s space.

MVP version brainstorming

Why? In order to implement this new service, we have to first pilot the basic version and see what effect it is making and how it can improved.

We researched on offline methods of collecting health data and creating a conversation guide for small clinics. Once this gets implemented and we can utilize the feedback to reiterate the pilot version and pilot this project in other clinics thus expanding our product slowly.

Final product