Understanding the relationship between healthcare networks and patient experience
The complexity of healthcare network analysis makes it difficult to visualise in an easily interpretable manner by policymakers. This deficiency impedes the uptake of more complex analytical methodologies by frontline decision-makers.
Through a co-design process with No More Heroes, stakeholders including patients, clinicians and policymakers engaged in a co-design process with the aim of making the insights from healthcare network analysis interpretable and usable for a wide audience for whom access to such findings is currently limited.
Research for this project took two main forms. Firstly, we ran an in person creative co-design workshop with five healthcare professionals at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. During this session we asked participants to contribute to the generation of ideas for data representation and asked them to share how the results would help them in their work. Secondly, we conduced desk research exploring adjacent examples in clinical settings.
This involved finding instances where complex data was used in an interactive visual context to facilitate decision making in hospitals and across UK NHS trusts. We followed up both research phases with a series of structured conversations that helped us to shape our approach to ideation.
We started developing ideas for this project by doing rough sketches of how we imagined such a system could look and how it would work. This involved drawing with pencils on paper, scanning or photographing the results, and sharing over Zoom (lockdown had started!). This turned out to be a very rapid and efficient way of sharing ideas at this early stage.
We usually find presenting sketches that appear too finished gives a harmful impression that ideas are more settled than they are and there is therefore less room for meaningful feedback.
Using InVision and Sketch we started working on an interactive digital prototype that we could easily share online. That involved adding further resolution to our sketches and thinking about transitions, actions, affordances, and click depth. Sketches had elicited the need for a geographical entry point. Hospital transfers happen with a regional health boundary and between them.
Showing this data at a top level and then drilling further down allowed us to handle the cognitive load of the data complexity and to stage data functions over a four screen depth. Sharing this prototype with key clients and receiving detailed feedback on objectives and tasks as the details emerged helped us to ensure project expectations were met and in many places exceeded.