Connect: Process and Final Deliverables
In the United States, around 10% of children suffer from asthma, a respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma attacks, left untreated, can result in death. In our research, we discovered the importance of communication between parents, teachers, and nurses in providing the best care and practices for children with asthma at school.
Based on our research and the issues we want to focus on, we believe that alignment of parents, teachers and nurses will allow for better care down the road when there’s an emergency.
Our Service, Connect
We created Connect, a service that allows parents, teachers, and nurses to be on the same page and stay connected at all times. There are mainly three parts in our service: the event, the meeting and the platform.
We use events like back to school night and spirit day to introduce our service at the start of each school year. By utilizing events that parents usually attend to the initial touchpoint, we are hope that our connection won’t be a burden for parents but rather make it easier for them to participate.
Before the event, parents can schedule the meeting online using our service platform.
During the event, we arrange meetings for parents, teachers and nurses to sit down face to face. We aim to create a comfortable place for all stakeholders to talk about children’s asthma together.
We provide cards during the meetings to help facilitate conversation. These cards also serve as a take home for the parents.
The platform is used as a digital companion with the cards, where nurses will take notes when parents are talking to the teachers.It’s also used as a long-term communication channel where people can stay connected even after the meetings.
After the meeting, parents can follow up and update the child’s profile.
“Our service facilitates communication between parents, teachers and nurses and ensures that they are on the same page in regards to a child’s Individualized Health Plan. This is to insure that, in the case of an emergency there is no miscommunication.”
Our service was to insure that parents, nurses and teachers had alignment and everything that needed to be talked about was. Our service was making sure that best practices were followed.
Below is the value prop canvas we used to define the about statement.
We started off by conducting primary research to understand more about asthma, children with asthma, and the problems and issues that currently exist. More details of our research insights can be found here.
We conducted a total of 14 interviews. We talked to a parents, teachers, adult individuals who had asthma as children, individuals who still had asthma, and a public school nurse.
Our pen-pal idea used the child as the communication hub between parent and teacher. We believed that if the teacher understood the child more, the teacher would be more aware of the child’s limitations and develop class activities more inclusively.
We examined multiple modalities of how the child could be the input. Ideas that were explored were more cultural probes in style, such as a diary or a coloring book.
The idea was also for the child to get excited about their asthma. They would receive stickers branded with an astronaut, which we thought would inspire children to “reach for the moon” and not let their limitations stop them.
A theme was also having children mentor other children, giving a newly diagnosed child someone to talk to.
Issues with our Pen-pal Service
Because pen-pals were child to child, the idea of mentoring and connecting to other families took away from the core problem we were solving, which was smoothing out the communication internal to the school.
Through additional interviews we started to realize the role the nurse played in the system, and the impact of the nurse not always being there.
Pivot 1: Dashboard and Cupboard
We pivoted to include the nurse and decided to focus purely on communication between the parent, the teacher, and the nurse. We came up with a service surrounding a dashboard, which was basically an electronic EMR that would provide passive updates to each stakeholder. Part of our service included a cabinet that provided access to the child’s medicine to staff members at school who were trained to be able to administer the medicine.
However, we soon realized that the initial meeting became an important touchpoint, so our service shifted to consider that as our main touchpoint.
Pivot 2: Connect
Throughout refining this idea we started to realize how important it was for the stakeholders to meet in person to attain alignment.
We came up with the service which we named Connect. Connect is a web platform that keeps parents, teachers and nurses aligned and updated on child’s condition. It allows for more transparent and easy communication about a child’s health. What is more important is that the parent, the teacher and the nurse are on the same page from the very beginning.
We made part of our service revolve around this meeting.
From our research, we noticed that there wasn’t really a set standard or protocol when it came to communicating to schools about asthma. Communication from schools as well, was primarily ad-hoc. There wasn’t really a formalized way of passing information between teacher, parent, and nurse. Sometimes information might just be passed through the child instead.
Shown above is our value flow with the main stakeholders in our service. The parent provides medical records and information about the child and his or her asthma. The teacher provides trust and support and is the link between the parent and the school. The nurse provides medical assistance and shares knowledge of the child’s conditions at school.
Our service blueprint details each step in our service, and shows the process from the parent’s point of view. If we follow the steps shown in the Customer Actions row, we can see how parents discover our service, start to use it, and how our service helps them connect with teachers and nurses. Our video sketch shows this process in a story format.
Our service provides access, response, and care for children with asthma. Parents get quick information and updates through the online platform. Teachers and nurses can stay on the same page with parents when it comes to the child’s health conditions. Our service also provides easy access for parents to communicate with teachers and nurses, and helps parents start with the plans for asthma management.
Our next steps in the projects would be to flesh out the details in our service by creating an information structure and navigation map and to validate our service by testing with more users. We would conduct usability tests on our high-fidelity prototype to see if the interface is intuitive and learn what changes we would need to make, if necessary.
Zoom in, zoom out
Throughout the project, our team often found ourselves focusing too much on specific details of our service. We would lose idea of the big picture, and instead be stuck on how a specific interaction would look like. Because this happened so often, we spent a lot of time debating over small parts of the service while we didn’t have a comprehensive idea of the overall service itself. Towards the end, we realized we really had to zoom out and envision the service through storyboarding the experience.