I interviewed six individuals who are regularly referencing or actively engaging with their medical information and asked about how their health records are currently organized.
The short answer?
😂 "They're not."
🤔 "They're fragmented across different channels."
😫 "They're all over the place. It's a mess."
I initially assumed that a major pain point is having a disorganized mix of digitized and non-digitized (paper) records, but I was surprised to learn that the typical problems are actually more fundamental than the healthcare system's unstandardized format.
I identified 4 common problems people have when it comes to their health information:
1. Not knowing or forgetting information.
People stress about accurately remembering details about their medical history on their own.
2. Not knowing where to look for their information.
People feel annoyed with not knowing where to find the information they need.
3. The work it takes to access their information.
People feel burdened when having to look up or verify aspects of their medical history because it takes a lot of work to access.
4. The work it takes to share their information.
People feel frustrated that they cannot easily share their health records with providers—including having to pay to do so.
Based on my research insights, I decided to forgo personas for a Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework so that my design is centered around specific situations, motivations, and outcomes vs. a static generalization of user groups that share common traits. It’s critical that I understand what "jobs" my participants need to do, and why they might "hire" the CommonHealth app, and applying a JTBD framework would help me focus more clearly on these specific contexts.
But in order to design the best possible experiences for people, I still need to understand and empathize with them. To help me do this, I created empathy maps along with job stories for each of my participants to capture and represent their real-life attitudes, feelings, and behaviors.
Select a participant below to view their empathy map:
Two examples of my users' job stories:
→ When my dad had a stroke, I wanted to be the point of contact for his doctors and keeping track of his medical details so that he and my mom don’t have to worry about it.
→ When I have to show proof of my covid vaccination, I want to pull up an official digital copy so that I don’t have to search for a photo on my phone that doesn’t feel valid.
→ When I find out I have a new health issue, I want to have a centralized memory bank for all of this information so that I don’t have to keep track of everything in my head.
→ When I visit a new doctor, I want to share certain records in my medical history so that they have access to the information they need to know.
→ When something in my healthcare changes, like taking a new medication for my foot surgery, I want to know if it affects other aspects of my health, like my autoimmune disease, so that I can flag it with my other doctors who need to know.
→ When I have to recall something from my medical history, I want to view information together in a chronological way so that I can see holistically what happened when.
→ When I have a doctor’s appointment, I want to get an after-visit summary from my doctor with what we talked about and next steps so that I don’t miss any important information my health.
→ When I’m managing my heart condition, which is a new diagnosis, I want to have a way to understand insights from my health data so that my medical history is not just medical records without context.
→ When I need info from my medical history, like an immunization record, I want to be able to search for it so that I can find the info I need quickly.
→ When I have to share medical records with providers, I want to have ownership and control of my electronic records so that I can digitally share my information whenever and with whomever I want.