Redesign the hospital waiting room experience.
Ease the hospital waiting room experience.
Hospitals are often a place of waiting - waiting for an appointment, waiting for a loved one, and waiting for results. Waiting is laborious and often leads to feelings of uncertainty and stress. We designed a three-fold service to improve this waiting experience and the overall support system of the patients and their loved ones.
Prior to surgery, view information about the operation and amenities at hospital to be better prepared.
Easy access to information about upcoming surgery, assigned parking lot, and lists of what to bring.
On the day of surgery, timeline will show up on the home page, allowing loved ones to stay informed about the surgery progress.
How might we ease the hospital waiting room experience to provide reassurance in a time of uncertainty?
To gain a better understanding of people’s waiting room experience, our team went to the University of Washington Medical Center to observe the atmosphere and people’s behavior. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with people who had recently spent time in the waiting rooms at hospitals.
Insights from our primary & secondary research:
1. Patients and their loved ones rely on each other for moral support and reassurance during surgery procedures.
2. The inefficient communication of information from staff to the patients’ support system or family adds stress and anxiety.
3. The fear of missing out on updates during a procedure keeps family members in a state of uncertainty and immobility.
4. There is an underlying agreement amongst other people in waiting rooms to maintain privacy, quietness, and soothing atmosphere.
After synthesizing our research findings, we created two personas to inform our future design:
With our research insights in mind, we drew out affinity diagrams and sketches to brainstorm for design concepts:
After synthesizing on all of our sketches and diagrams, we came up with a three-fold solution:
Patients and their loved ones can find details about their surgery in this packet. Information includes the surgery day logistics, amenities, and instructions on how to download the Care app.
Private Home Pods
The pod provides a private and relaxing place for family and friends to work and rest during an otherwise stressful time, as they wait during the surgery.
Throughout the journey:
The Accompanying App
The Care app provides information about surgery prior to the operation. During the operation, it displays a timeline of surgery progress and notifies the patient's loved ones of when to meet with the doctor. In this way, family and friends don't need to be rooted in the waiting room during the surgery. Loved ones who cannot be at the hospital can also stay informed.
Customer Journey Map (click to view full image)
Touch points in using the three-fold solution:
Refining & Developing
Simulating the Holistic Experience
We simulated the three-fold experience by setting up areas for a parking lot, reception desk, home pod, and coffee shop. Participants engaged with the flow and provided us with valuable feedback.
Things Learned From Experience Simulation
1. Provide more information in the packet and on the App about what to expect.
"I would love to be in the loop of what my family [who undergoes the surgery] is doing. The more information of the surgery the better."
2. Include specific directions to the hospital and parking spot.
"It was cool you guys gave me a parking spot because usually it’s first come first served... But I was unsure of the location of the hospital especially if I’m not there with the person. "
3. Information provided should reassure and inform, not increase anxiety.
"People need to understand what is normal so they aren’t freaking out by themselves.”
Based on learnings from the experience simulation, we moved on to create higher fidelity prototypes. We got wood boards from Home Depot and assembled the home pod.