Task flow analysis
To create an iPad app for emergency medicine doctors to be able to quickly and easily chart basic patient info, patient symptoms, data from patient exams, and their orders (for lab tests, x-rays, etc).
In my capstone research, I conducted ethnographic research within a suburban Chicago hospital emergency department. I observed that one of the primary pain points for the physicians in doing patient charts is that patient contact and the physical exam occur separately from data entry to the patient’s chart. The physician must first talk to the patient and conduct part of the exam in one room, jotting any notes down on paper, and then must to go to a computer bank set up outside the patient room to enter all the chart data. This back-and-forth between the computer bank location and the patient rooms can occur for as many as 15 patients at a time per physician. Additionally, there are a number of complaints and issues with the current charting programs being used. For more on this, please see my paper.
Despite the complex nature of the charting tasks, I wanted the patient data entry to be very intuitive and as easy to input as possible. Using iPadʼs input methods of taps, swipes, and holds, I imagined an application that would utilize minimal touches to facilitate quick and easy data entry. I also tried to focus on ways to incorporate features that minimize typing, like on-off swipe switches and a speech-to-text dictation system for additional notes. Having these capabilities on an iPad would allow the physician to create the chart concurrently while examining the patient.
Throughout the project, I conducted a great deal of research online and in person at the hospital to make sure I was structuring the application in an appropriate and useful way. I used a number of medical resources to develop the actual content within the screens, and I consulted with medical staff at the hospital to determine the breakdown of tasks and screens.