During our exploratory research interviews and service experiments, we received feedback that a hotline would be the best channel for information for our target audience. While we had already prototyped two touchpoints in our service — the quarterly medical resident consultation and interactive kids magazine — we still needed a way to provide alternative caregivers with information if they (a) did not have a magazine yet but were interested in our service, (b) needed more timely information than the magazine could provide, or (c) needed a way to get medical advice beyond what the magazine or consultation could provide.
Based on these gaps in our service, we designed a hotline to fulfill three main purposes:
- Provide information, updated daily, on common asthma triggers including: temperature, air quality, and allergens (based on the community’s zipcode).
- Provide information about when the medical resident would be at the Food Pantry for check-in consultations.
- Provide basic information and contacts for health care facilities in the community.
To design the hotline flow, we used TextIt, an open source platform for SMS and voice based applications. Below is the script we used to create our TextIt flow.
“Hello, you’ve reached Asthma Connect. If your child is having a life-threatening asthma attack, hang up and call 911. To listen to today’s trigger forecast, including temperature, allergen, and air quality levels, press 1. To listen to the Northside Food Pantry medical resident Asthma Connect schedule, press 2. For information about Northside health care providers, press 3.”
“Today’s high is going to be 81 degrees, with a low of 52 degrees. There is a 50% chance of rain today and the average humidity is around 44%. The air quality is moderate. Tree pollen is high, mold is moderate, and grass and weed pollen is low. If your child is sensitive to hot or humid weather, poor air quality, or tree pollen, your child should try to take it easy today. To go back to the main menu, press pound.”
“This year, in 2017, the Asthma Connect medical resident will be available for drop-in check-ins at the Northside Food Pantry on January 9th, April 3rd, August 7th, and November 6th from 9:00am til noon. No appointments are necessary. To go back to the main menu, press pound.”
“Health care providers in Northside include: the Allegheny General Hospital, the North Side Christian General Health Care Center, and the Manchester Health Center. For more information about the Allegheny General Hospital, press 1. For more information about the North Side Christian General Health Care Center, press 2. For more information about the Manchester Health Center, press 3.
“The Allegheny General Hospital accepts many types of insurance options, including medicare and medicaid. To schedule a same-day appointment at the Allegheny General Hospital, call 412-DOCTORS, which is 412.362.8677, between 7 and 11am. If you don’t need a same day appoint, call the same number, 412-DOCTORS. To go back to the list of Northside health care providers, press 0. To go back to the main menu, press pound.”
“The North Side Christian Health Care Center provides a sliding fee scale based on income for uninsured patients. To schedule an appointment at the North Side Christian Health Care Center, call 412- 322- 7500. To go back to the list of Northside health care providers, press 0. To go back to the main menu, press pound.”
“Manchester Health Center provides community healthcare and healthcare for the homeless. To make an appointment with Manchester Health Center, call (412) 244–4700. To go back to the list of Northside health care providers, press 0. To go back to the main menu, press pound.”
TextIt + Twilio Prototype
Using our hotline script, we created a flow using TextIt to test out the hotline’s logic and functionality. We created a trial account with Twilio to connect the flow to a phone number. Call (831) 264–1311 to try it out! Since it’s a trial Twilio account you’ll need to press a key to trigger the flow, but it should all work as expected from there.