Most individuals are simply unaware that they have access to their health record. When it comes to the younger generations, they've grown to depend on their parents or guardians to schedule their doctor's appointment or obtain their immunization records, etc. which eliminates the knowledge on how to advocate for themselves. I addressed this issue because of the experience my friend dealt with when she was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Stage 2 at the age of 22. When she was initially diagnosed, her doctors kept telling her it'd be temporary and that it's common. Little did they know, it was the worst case scenario. She had many small nodules growing in her lungs that would never go away and she didn't really understand the full implications of this diagnosis until a year later. It took her about 3 years to be able to manage her health through a system she created for herself and ideally, it shouldn't have taken 3 years. She wished she had more information about what could happen. Even though some cases of thyroid cancers are curable, doctors don't fully know when or if its curable.
She said to me, "When a patient is diagnosed with a serious condition, the doctors think how can we cure this? And they go on and create a game plan, which is great. But they also have to think of what kind of life the patient wants to live. I think that gets lost, and it shouldn't." Through interviews and contextual inquiries, I uncovered key insights which led me to answer this question, "How Can We provide young adults diagnosed with chronic conditions the resources needed to understand their condition, plan for their treatment, and adapt it to their desired lifestyle with an accessible, hospital-wide system?"
Core is a digital PHR ecosystem where patients can manage their health information in a private, secure, and confidential space. The system consists of a revitalized insurance card, access hubs, and a universal patient portal. Access hubs are placed at every department where a patient interacts with their care team. When a patient goes to a doctor's appointment, they can scan their insurance card at an access hub to gain real-time access and transferability of their information from that visit. Doing so releases health record information, through two-factor authentication, into their universal patient portal. The portal's key feature "Your Treatment Plan," gives an overview of their treatment that consists of appointments, plan of care, visit summaries, etc. The dashboard is created based on scheduled time set aside with your doctor. A user can click on different pathways to view possible outcomes to gather information on what to expect along with preparation levels to inform patients on scheduled appointments such as a surgery. There's access to a FAQ and a workspace to add notes for each visit. Other features include the ability to: connect with support groups, connect with people who have the same condition and see their treatment journeys, and access to emotional health resources.
Core reimagines the patient health portal experience by allowing patients to take initiative over their health. They value a systematic healthcare approach where there lifestyle is also considered as opposed to just their treatment. Transferring health records is a time consuming process that includes waiting in a doctor's office to waiting for records to be delivered, disrupting one's day to day. Current health portals lack a narrative and features that would help them understand how to live their life with their specific condition. Decreased usage of patient portals ultimately leads to a lack of patient-provider collaboration and communication, along with unawareness of one's health. For young adults with chronic conditions, it can be difficult to manage multiple health portals, prepare for a condition, and understand what their diagnosis means. This particular whitespace led to the question, "How Can We provide young adults diagnosed with chronic conditions the resources needed to understand their condition, plan for their treatment, and adapt it to their desired lifestyle with an accessible, hospital-wide system?" Core address all of those challenges by integrating a patient-centric ecosystem into the center of the healthcare interoperability system. It's comprised of an EHR/PHR service that incorporates a new method of data hosting on a cloud based system, an access hub that houses confidential information securely, a revitalized insurance card to release patient data in real-time, and a redefined and restructured patient portal experience that creates the focal point on the patient's healthcare journey and lifestyle.
Core provides three key benefits to the user: a personalized design language that emphasizes on the ownership and accommodation of individual needs; a platform where patients can connect with their providers without hesitation, along with complete knowledge on their health record; and an experience that blends characteristics of natural elements and metaphors to provide a sense of lifestyle where one's diagnosis is more than a condition that doctor's treat.
When the insurance card is scanned at an access hub, it sends a notification to a patient's phone requesting approval access. After the patient approves the request, their patient portal is updated in real-time making it easy to access and transfer records, eliminating long-wait times.
When a patient logs into their portal, the first thing they'll see is "Your Treatment Plan," an overview of their treatment plan that consist of appointments, plan of care, visit summaries, etc. Since a treatment plan is never 100% guaranteed, a user can click on different pathways to view possible outcomes that could occur to gather information on what to expect. There are also preparation levels (determined by the provider) to help patients, mentally and physically, prepare for scheduled appointments. Within the dashboard, there's access to a FAQ and personal workspace to add notes or create a to-do list. Other key features include the ability to: connect with support groups, connect with people who have the same condition and the ability to see their treatment journeys, access to emotional health support/resources, and manage their health records and healthcare network.
Core also allows for seamless integration at multiple hospitals. To implement the service, a hospital or network would have to purchase and integrate the Core EHR/PHR, which is a cloud-based system. Purchasing the EHR will allow for the PHR (patient portal) to be offered to patients at no cost. Leveraging this design will give hospitals and networks a reputation for providing exceptional care and customer service. Hospitals and networks with a Core integrated system could influence other hospitals and networks to purchase the same system because of the universal portal that patients desire. When a patient scans their insurance card at multiple access hubs from different networks, all of the information being released will go to the patient's universal portal. This helps hospitals by allowing providers to collaborate outside of their network to focus on what matters most, a patient's treatment plan and lifestyle. It also gives them easier access to communicate with a patient's care team since they will be using the same EHR system. Core makes information access consistent and portable that any provider can know a patient as well as their primary care provider can. A patient's treatment shouldn't be compromised because of a limited health record system. Hospitals using Core will help provide the new standard for what healthcare should be, definitively increasing patient-provider engagement.
As stated earlier, most individuals are simply unaware or did not believe they had access to their health record. When it came to the younger generations, most of them depended on their parents or guardian to schedule their doctor's appointment or ask them for information they may need. Even though they grew dependent on someone else to manage their health, they still considered health to be a priority. Core emphasizes and promotes taking ownership of one's health through offering a personalized experience that places the patient at the forefront of their health data. Allowing so puts the patient as the advocate for their own health instead of their parents, guardians, or providers. This is particularly important for young adults with chronic conditions because most people don't expect to be diagnosed at a young age but when they do, they don't have the means to understand and approach their diagnosis. These patients also need to feel like they own their health and that's where the ability to scan your insurance card at an access hub comes in. The insurance card acts as a key to release information giving the user control over their privacy and security. Personalization also plays a key factor to give them a sense that they're cared for. The treatment journey dashboard is personalized to a patient's condition by their care team which fosters collaboration between all parties, patient and providers. With Core, patients are able to take charge of their health and stay engaged.
The final form of the design is a simplified and sophisticated look that can suit any hospital environment. The indent of the access hub allows for an intuitive response in placing the insurance card or phone to scan for the release of records. The material used for the access hub is ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) because it is a two-phase polymer blend that provides good all-round performance for electronic enclosures, with a matte finish. The manufacturing process that would be used would be injection molding, influenced by the design, materials, and finish.
The UI provides a clean look with a resemblance of nature on the dashboard to exemplify that lifestyle needs to be considered within a treatment plan. With the name and logo, Core resembles the patient at the center of the healthcare interoperability system. The logo articulates the meaning of core, along with a familiar icon to healthcare, the cross. Montserrat is used as the primary font for the patient portal because of the geometric simplicity it offers while giving it character for a welcoming feeling for the user. For the color pallete, teal is used because it is a revitalizing and rejuvenating color that represents open communication and clarity of thought which is a strong desire for patients. Living coral is used as an accent color because it symbolizes an innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, a feeling that people are craving in a healthcare landscape.