Healthcare providers are facing new challenges where patient needs and expectations are evolving, now requiring seamless digital experiences. Patients require real-time access to key communications with their care team and no longer tolerate barriers for finding the right care at the right time.
Electronic health record (EHR) systems are the backbone of care providers in today’s world. Systems like Epic’s MyChart offer patients entry points to health information for test results, medications, or messages with their provider. Beyond a traditional patient or member portal, patients and families have ever-evolving desires for more personalized experiences and frictionless connections.
How can Cook Children’s support their patients and families’ technology and convenience needs while retaining the important balance of personal and human interaction?
When patients and families come to Cook Children’s, they are often navigating a challenging and complex care journey with a child. These times are likely difficult, challenging, and emotional even before the family interacts with the health system itself. Cook Children’s strives to meet families with a human connection that helps them feel heard and understood, while striking a balance of convenience, ease, and simplicity for each family. Part of that empathic care connection is giving families a choice in how they want to interact with the hospital system. For more and more families who interact with services and sellers online, we know that many are shifting their preferences toward digital interactions that remove unnecessary friction and create convenience. Unfortunately, most hospital systems don’t operate in a way that feels simple and easy for patients. The complexities of healthcare extend beyond the patient experience to the broad ecosystem of digital tools that need to play together in the proverbial sandbox to offer effective, and efficient, care to those they serve.
With all this and more in mind, Cook Children’s and Bottle Rocket embarked on a mission to bring the power of a personalized digital care journey to the family. The collective team defined a goal to establish a strong mobile foundation that can grow, flex, and enable the Cook Children's strategies of tomorrow, all while meeting families where they are with ease and access today.
We kicked off with a series of stakeholder interviews, discovery workshops, user research, technical solutioning and design exploration to define key problems. A new mobile experience began to take shape that leveraged an improved navigation in key focus areas: increasing efficiency, making it convenient, growing and maintaining connections. This included both user and system integration connections needed to fully deliver on the promise.
The new experience extended the powers of the EHR for transactional care while also surfacing hyper-relevant and real-time needs for upcoming appointments, preventive care reminders, and navigating to care options. Families now have easier access to aspects of their health, and are able to find care where and when they need it most. This optimization also unlocked new areas to connect families in the community. Parents and kids facing similar clinical conditions can enroll in support groups directly from the new app. The support communities offer parents an outlet to ask questions, engage in dialogue, and help others facing similar challenges.
These personalized and focused areas were grounded in a framework to measure success. KPIs and key results were established that align with Cook Children’s strategic objectives. The new Cook Children’s mobile experience brings the ever-changing patient expectations to the forefront by meeting patients where they are and building a foundation for growth addressing future needs. By enabling family members with the right digital tools to book appointments, and sign-up for support groups (to name just a few), it helped deliver efficiency gains (in the form of fewer phone calls and less paper) to Cook Children's staff so they could focus more quality time on direct patient care.
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