Northwell Health is a mobile app built for patients to manage care easily. It is aimed at unifying health services offered and is primarily used for booking health appointments.
Northwell is the largest integrated healthcare system in New York State committed towards caring for millions of individuals and their families. Parsons SDM partnered with Northwell to look into how they could personalize and digitally transform patient and caregiver experiences.
Working in a team, I worked on their design brief as a design consultant to bring out strategic interventions and designed 4 key features for Northwell to integrate in their current primary health app.
Key Insights from User Research and Problem Statement
Healthcare systems in the US are complex and leave ambiguity in patients. Immigrants struggle with English and face further challenges of feeling excluded due to a lack of cultural connection with the system. With these overarching systemic problems, I dug deep into primary research to uncover the following insights deeply rooted in cultural and access barriers to entry in modern health systems:
Ambiguity in health systems breeds an avoidant tendency in patients and said it is anaccesible to them
Familiarity brings comfort beyond just translation support for immigrants
Trust is foundational in health systems.
I dove deep into data synthesis from research insights to arrive at 3 key directions for Northwell to build within their primary health app. These features directed towards product discovery were inclined towards helping Northwell expand their care offerings to cater to socially excluded communities and build a perception of being closer to immigrant communities.
1. Specialist Connector to Enable Access to Specialized care
Designed to streamline patient-specialist connections and ensure 70% faster access to specialized care. By intuitively indicating discomfort on a 3D avatar and utilizing an AI-based symptom mapping system, patients can quickly identify and locate discomfort, receiving direct recommendations to specialists.
2. Discover Care Resources Nearby to Bring Care Closer to Communities
Patients can discover and connect with carefully curated local care resources effortlessly, right in their neighborhoods. The feature helps in finding the healthcare providers, support groups, and wellness centers patients need, fostering a sense of community and relatability.
3. Assisted Guidance with AI-Based Health Advisor Chatbots
Reducing booking complexities and logistical questions, I designed a chatbot to provide quick support to patients. Whether it's appointment documentation, insurance info, or location, the chatbot provides guidance and makes navigating complex systems easy. We recommended introduction of existing human support agents to handle specific queries that AI can not handle, ensuring a seamless support experience throughout.
4. Bridging Cultural Barriers with Cultural Health Advocates
I worked on building a health advocate matching system for Northwell aimed at building a human connection to overcome cultural barriers in healthcare decisions. This feature connects patients with volunteers trained in navigating complex aspects like insurance, post-operative care, etc., with the goal of reducing intimidation and easing communication. Patients can choose from a list of culturally relatable individuals around them, providing comfort and support throughout their healthcare journeys.
Process of Project
Over 4 months, I dove deep into core user needs while accessing the healthcare system during various stages of their journeys. I synthesized data from research, conducted stakeholder workshops to bring coherance in ideation, created detailed user journeys, user flows and immagined product outcomes for Northwell. Beyond product strategy, I also created wireframes, low and high fidelity prototypes and conducted usability research to come up with the final designs.
Impact of the Project
I recomended an implementation plan for Northwell in the form of a roadmap for these features and am proud that they accepted two of the 4 features recomended and took them forward for development, user testing and implimentation on their end.
As a result of these two features, I was able to quantify the following business impact these features will have for Northwell:
1. Increased Access
Northwell would be able to connect with about 1.9 Million new Newyorkers every year.
2. Personalized Care
17 additional touchpoints for data collection to personalize care outcomes.
3. Cost Saving
Northwell would save about $30 Million every year by just reducing no-shows for appointments.
4. Faster Care Time
A reduced turnaround time for meeting with a specialist from an average of 24 days to just 7 days.