Clinical and Patient Support
How can clinicians maintain a personal connection with their patients and still provide quality virtual care?
When UPMC’s Telemedicine Program was first being developed, I observed that once the participants got past the idea of a virtual conversation, the experience on both ends of the screen was less than ideal. The physician struggled to access the needed the documents/images pertinent to the consultation while maintaining eye contact with their patient on the screen. Conversely, the patient mistook the physician’s many movements as an indication that something was wrong with them, increasing their nervousness and agitation.
Based on these findings, I designed the initial TeleMedicine application with a strong focus on both the patient and physician experience. The new interface provided the physician access to the patient’s assets and clinical details in plain view so they could easily be included in the conversation. Additionally, on-screen prompts were presented to the physician to remind them to ease the patient’s mind, such as when they’re reviewing a file. Messaging was also presented to the patient so they would better understand what they physician is doing. This foundational version of the application tested very well among physicians, nurses, and patients.
Patient Appointment Self-Management
How can patients manage their own clinical schedules to positively affect and reduce leakage in community care facilities?
This research initiative was focused on improving the technology and processes of call centers to provide the best patient care, improve patient and physician satisfaction, and maximize the efficiency of community-based care delivery. Our team consisted of myself and a product manager. Through our research, we identified several key baseline challenges including repetitive manual processes, information scattered across multiple systems, lack of continuous feedback, and ineffective data analysis. We also found that the patient's experience had a strong correlation to an airline traveler’s experience. This was a significant insight which we incorporated into our streamlined workflow by creating a system flexible enough to support both call center scheduling and patient self-scheduling.
Head Trauma Dashboard
How can better information provide more efficient care to head trauma patients?
As the public was becoming increasingly aware of the considerable impacts of sport-related head traumas, I identified the need to create an application to capture the moments of impact by helmet sensors, tracks the progression of the head trauma event, and the patient’s recovery over time. My research included clinician interviews, data/functional analysis of available sensors, and comparative analysis of competitive products and market need. In the application, the captured helmet data allowed for real-time visibility and coordination between the video clip, the impact location(s) on the patient’s head, and the strength of impact. The added feature of the recovery timeline helped the clinician, patient, and family understand the details of their recovery including the timing of spikes that often occur.
Hospital Maintenance Shift Management
How can hospital operational support teams and their supervisors manage the complexities of facility scheduling?
This application explored how to create a scheduling platform that accommodated the needs of the entire healthcare organization—from shift-based workers covering specific zones to a flexible schedule for physicians. The original application was focused on the scheduling needs of on-call physicians, a role that didn’t require specific shifts, zones, or group management. In this application, I extended the capability to support hospital operational support like maintenance and environmental services. By adding the dimension of shifts and zones, the application was now able to provide a more comprehensive gap analysis of availability and coverage. Additionally, the data integration provided a "department snapshot” with added visibility and transparency for the front-line staff and supervisors.
How can EMT professionals better attend to patients in high-pressure, critical situations?
The EMS Navigator mobile app was created to give EMTs and their teams immediate access to medication information, drug calculators, and other Pennsylvania protocol data in an on-demand, interactive format. The application provides decision support tools to quickly assess patient conditions, treatment options, and contact Medical Command during critical moments of patient care and transport. My research included considerable time interviewing EMT professionals and dispatch center staff. We maintained an ongoing partnership with these stakeholders throughout the design process including in-field usability testing. Soon after it was completed, the EMS Navigator app was featured in InformationWeek and Pittsburgh Business Times. It is still in use today.
Government Security Training
Virtual Training Environment (VTE)
How can security agencies more efficiently learn and retain highly-sensitive, complex subject matter?
The Virtual Training Environment (VTE) was a project driven through the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The VTE is a learning management system (LMS) created specifically for cybersecurity training used in the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. Leveraging VTE’s social learning framework, educators could create on-demand lectures and courses using video, virtual hands-on labs, quizzes, surveys, and SCORM (a reference model for shareable content). They could also communicate and collaborate with students in private learning communities and track their progress through a reporting feature.
Because the previous version was developed many years earlier and was installed directly on computers, I had the freedom, within reason, to re-imagine the training experience. But given the sensitive nature of the clients and the subject matter, one of my biggest challenges was a lack of direct user interaction. To compensate, I relied on published online research, competitive analysis of LMS products, and best practices for online education. In spite of these challenges, this project was delivered and received favorably by our customers.
How can insurance agents and consumers equally learn and achieve results from one web presence?
HM Insurance Group had previously supported their insurance agents and direct consumers through multiple public sites and a separate secure claims web application. I directed and designed a solution that brought these dissimilar products together into one responsive web presence. I conducted stakeholder, user and competitive research, facilitated design workshops, led iterative usability tests, and created company-wide design patterns to support the responsive platform. Once released, the site received the 2013 WebAward for Insurance Standard of Excellence.
How can a broker, consultant, Third-party administrator, and policyholder easily manage their on-demand insurance needs?
eServices is an online tool of HM Insurance Group that provides quick and secure access to various insurance needs including claims details, notices, policies, and downloadable forms. The application is equally used by brokers, consultants, third-party administrators, and individual policyholders. This made our solution more complex because the workflows and user experience needed to be equally efficient and user-friendly for infrequent consumers (novices) and insurance professionals (power users). As the the principal designer on this project, I planned and facilitated research, led the application design, and conducted usability testing. The product was well received and is still in use today.