Medal enterprise software enables secure, HIPAA compliant sharing and cataloguing of clinical information from any electronic medical records system, including reports and summaries using natural language processing. Simple and inexpensive, it installs in seconds, creating a virtual, secure, shared record for each patient encounter while managing access and consent. Up-to-date individual data is collected and used effectively to create holistic patient profiles to feed decision support for providers and patients, driving improved health outcomes.
Over 450 million faxes and forms are submitted by members and providers every year, often times with missing data. The cost of manual data entry when processing these documents are high. Medical Errors: Bound to happen, human data entry errors are common. Patient test results and reports can have a myriad of data points, and when clinicians are making decisions in real-time based they rely on those data points being accurate to correctly diagnose and treat patients. But if the reports were somehow incorrect or missed completely, it can threaten patient care drastically-medical error is thethird leading cause of death in the U.S.
High Administrative Costs: The act of manually processing documents, such as recording test results or submitting insurance claims or going through the whole prior authorization process, is physically demanding and time consuming. Time that could be spent on patient care is instead spent on processes that can be automated at a faster rate and with higher accuracy.
And me, tasked with leading all design efforts for Medal.
The next step was figuring out how versioning would actually work when multiple people are working on the same document. We decided to save a version per person's unique session, and have each session available only to the original annotator and the admin or manager overseeing the project. The MVP features weren't fleshed out yet, but this was a good point to start prioritizing what could be on the roadmap. For example, being able a custom category was essential, since there's not way to predict how many or which labels would be needed.
The first step in figuring out how to design a solution starts with a sketch. I brainstormed how a team of healthcare professionals could collaborate and thought a task list could make sense. But, building a notification system that linked towards versions of an annotated medical document was not feasible with our timeline and could potentially cause issues with HIPAA. The most vague email messaging we could send would be "An update on < redacted file name > made on < date >" and that did not seem useful.
I started to experiment with post-its to figure a different way to capture versions by different annotators. I had this idea of a changelog that would only be viewable to users whenever a new version of annotations was available. I still played with the idea of sending an email notification as a means to redirect them to the annotion view, since there was no other way to notify users outside the platform at this time. This post-it exercise helped define the skeleton of what I wanted to achieve in our final designs: capture versions, make those version accessible somehow, notify users of those changes - but there was a pivotal part missing. How are we going to allow users to better navigate a menu for annotating records? At this point, the dropdown was one massive dropdown menu, with a search field at the top. It was a known user issue that the experience was frustrating because the menu required scrolling and lacked any sort of organization.
After a couple more iterations, we landed on the designs below. I introduce color-coding labels to make it easy at a glance to distinguish labels from one another. These colors can be customized through the Admin Portal. For the default colors, we adhered to how Medal color-coded parts of their patient summary page: blue for problems, purple for allergies, and orange for medications.
This is a basic mock flow of how individual editors would create their own annotations. Each version is only viewable to the original annotator and the admin.
An admin logging in to view annotations will be able to see everyone's contribution to the document and can select which one will be shown on the patient profile. Admins will also be allowed to invite specific users to annotate any version.
Without interviewing users, I wouldn't have realized how annoying the menu could be to use. The position of the menu posed an issue due to its length, and would sometimes overlay pertinent information the user needed to see to annotate accurately. I recorded my sesson, and delivered my insights to the team to prioritize the menu design as part of annotations because I knew it would add value and improve their experience.