Last-Minute Appointment Exchange
UI Design Lead
UX + Prototyping Support
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Design Spec Doc
Studies have found that same-day cancellations have and average fill rate of 15%. This costs doctors’ offices $100,000 and the healthcare industry as a whole $150 billion per year.
At the same time, 90% of practices do not implement traditional waitlists because of the difficulty in training and extra work involved in maintaining them.
How might we increase efficiencies in scheduling between millennial caregivers and high demand health services?
Wexel is designed to solve this problem by making the rescheduling process more efficient for both the doctors’ offices and the caregiver, allowing for faster, better care with more flexibility. The waitlist feature solves the issue by vastly reducing the amount of manual work involved in implementing and maintaining an office’s manual waitlist while providing a convenient way for caregivers to request currently unavailable appointment times.
If an office has no available times, caregivers are able to request to be alerted to any cancellations that happen in a time range of their choice. If there is a cancellation, the caregiver is asked to confirm their new appointment via a push notification sent to their phone. Once the appointment is confirmed, the system informs the doctor’s office of the filled appointment and provides the doctors office with insurance and other relevant patient information.
WHAT IS A CAREGIVER?
Caregiver is a general term referring to anyone who provides care for a person who needs extra help. Caregivers often find themselves struggling to keep up with tasks they handle on a regular basis.
IS THERE A DEMAND FOR CAREGIVERS?
As the Baby Boomers continue to get older, there will be a higher demand for caregivers. As millennial’s make up a growing proportion of caregivers, we want to explore ways to improve their ability to find & provide care.
UNDERSTAND CAREGIVER CHALLENGES
We wanted to fully understand the challenges caregivers face by engaging in primary and secondary research through cultural probes and speaking with caregivers about their experiences.
We focused on millennials because they will soon be the largest cohort of caregivers and need the most help. In addition to the typical challenges of a caregiver, they face modern challenges around work, finances, time management, and generally doing more with less.
Setting the Problem + Down Selection
Through secondary research and speaking with Premera, caregivers, and patients with chronic illnesses, we realized there was a common theme among them: difficulty with last-minute scheduling, especially among specialty doctors.
We narrowed down our concepts from 100 ideas and scored the top 10 against the following criteria in order to see which ones best addressed our problem statement.
1. Filling Schedules
2. Serving Millennials
3. Improved Care Quality
4. Improved Care Speed
5. Ease of Receiving Care
In order to assess the desirability of the concept, our team verified the sequence of each path with a low fidelity mock up, and gained feedback on the prototype’s information architecture and hierarchy. We iterated on our key paths after testing with caregivers.
The caregivers that tested our prototype found the concept of our initial prototype valuable and provided useful feedback on usability and information hierarchy which was implemented into our final design.
Key Aspects of the Design
Transportation is the #1 reason for cancellations and was a primary concern when booking appointments with little lead time. To address these points, we wanted to put a focus on the location of the doctor in relation to the caregiver. Based on feedback from Premera, we implemented a ‘Reason for Appointment’ function which can be used to inform a triage protocol. This allows us to send tiered alerts out based on necessity. If there is no response after a set time, the next tier would be activated.
In order to book an appointment, you need to find that doctor in the first place. Here, you can see John looking for a cardiologist in his area. He selects Dr. Alan, but her schedule is booked for the times he needs. He sets an alert in case a time opens up.
After the initial login, the user is taken through a series of steps to add a Care Recipient so they can start scheduling appointments for the person they are taking care of.
With Wexel, finding and booking an appointment is simple. User can identify the doctor or clinic where they would like to receive care and move through a short series of steps collecting pertinent information for the doctor up front and can be tailored to the user to get the right care.
CANCELLING AN APPOINTMENT
In order for that appointment to become available for John, somebody has to let Dr. Alan know they can’t make it. Erica’s car broke down, so she lets Dr. Alan know she won’t make her appointment.
SEARCHING FOR A DOCTOR + ALERT SETUP
In order to book an appointment, the user needs to find a doctor in the first place. Here, you can see the user looking for a cardiologist in his area. Dr. Alan is selected, but her schedule is booked for the times he needs. He sets an alert in case a time opens up.
CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT
Since Erica cancelled, a spot opened up for Jane during the times he specified. John gets a push notification on his phone and he confirms the appointment.
Through Wexel, users can confirm a last minute appointment for themselves or the people they take care of and fit a doctors appointment into their busy schedule. Doctors can save time and money using Wexel to treat more patients efficiently.
Inefficient last-minute scheduling is an issue that affects multiple stakeholders in the the healthcare industry, including patients, caregivers, doctors, and insurance companies.
Follow ups and preventative healthcare appointments are some of the most often cancelled, but also the most efficient form of healthcare in terms of cost and care efficacy.
Location and transportation considerations are an important aspect of any caregiver’s schedule. Any scheduling solution should ensure the caregiver is as informed as possible on travel times and methods.
There is no typical caregiving schedule and Millennials value flexibility and immediacy. A design response should accommodate these patterns.