Banner Health


Digital Experiences for the Sandwich Generation

Challenge

Make life easier for Sofia, a persona developed around the “sandwich generation", who manages the healthcare of her children and aging loved ones.

Outcome

A digital experience that makes managing the care of multiple generations easier and more effective.

Sofia has a large job as the health care decision maker in her family; caring for her children, aging parents, and in-laws. She balances her broad workload as a caregiver while trying to cater to each generation’s differences. She is notoriously hard on herself and doesn’t always feel like a good mother. She prioritizes the care of other generations over her own. She is short on time and money and needs creative support organizing, anticipating, and simplifying her care journey.

While the persona of Sofia is fictional, she represents the very real people Banner Health asked us to design for. Our objective was to create a digital experience that simplified Sofia’s life as she engages with the healthcare services offered by Banner Health. How can we make healthcare easier, so her life can be better? The potential impact of solutioning in this space was significant. In 2016 Banner Health touched the lives of a significant number of patients and their families through a range of service interactions including 4,000,000+ clinic visits, 200,000+ hospital admissions, and 34,000+ baby deliveries.

Our Process

Working closely with Banner Health, our designers created an initial outline for our Digital Patient Experience Blueprint, capturing tasks, desired outcomes, patient and client questions, and initial ideas and opportunities. These aspects were mapped along a set of introductory focus areas in the patient experience, set for by Banner Health: Search and Schedule, Prepare for an Appointment, Wrap Up Care, Ongoing, and Pharmacy.

After aligning on the existing patient journey, we transitioned into in-depth patient interviews. The Sofia persona started as a high-level consumer profile provided by the client with age, gender, ethnicity, income, family role, and relationships. Our team sought to validate and add to this persona by bringing in the fine details of the experience as told by 16 patients.

Thoughtfully engaging these patients through conversational interviewing, analogous experience visuals, and card sorting we gained an in-depth understanding of their motivations, fears, and the strategies they used along five key moments of their journey: Accessing Banner, Scheduling Care, Preparing for Appointment, Managing Medications, and Providing Follow Up.

From these stories, our journey map of Sofia’s experience was enriched. Using a framework of “says” (a direct quote) and “thinks/wants/feels” (a synthesis of stories heard) we brought forward meaningful insights to inform our concept development.

We synthesized and reviewed our findings with Banner Health. Opportunity areas along the entire journey were discussed and ideated on. What emerged was the need for significant patient support in organizing, anticipating, and simplifying the care journey.

Our team applied empathy, creativity, and insights derived from our research findings to imagine and design a new digital service model with Sofia at the center of the experience.

To inform a simple and impactful digital experience the design team elevated three values that emerged from the in-depth patient interviews as a set of essential unifying elements to guide all patient engagement with the Banner Health brand.

Fifteen concept visuals were delivered to Banner Health in the final report as a family of solutions. Each concept visual was grounded by the journey stage, patient need, key values, analogous solutions, and communication channels. These concepts directly deliver value during the moments of truth with a strategy of change that is understood by the institution, has value-based guardrails from real patients, and illustrate sequential actions touchpoints and truths. They tie together Sofia’s latent needs and how Sofia may want to interact on behalf of herself or a specific member of her family. By leveraging technology that is minimalistic in nature, it allows for meaningful information exchange while also taking a lot of the workload burden off Sofia. By being minimally disruptive with the design, it allows for seamless sharing of information and helps care teams anticipate when she may have a need; keeping care at the forefront of health and well-being.

At a recent roundtable for leaders from various healthcare and hospital systems across the United States, it was revealed that the patient experience is of highest importance as more organizations face increasingly tough competition as well as various financial pressures. The findings from the roundtable demonstrate that an increasing number of organizations recognize that healthcare is becoming a competitive, consumer-focused business. Hospitals and clinics must offer technologies that make care access more convenient and the clinic experience more seamless.

By combining ethnographic research methods with design and visualization tools, our team shed light on these unmet needs, translating them into strategic insights and opportunities imbedded into digital concept visuals. Transforming field research outputs into a meaningful digital experience our team enabled the client to take the next step – making healthcare easier so Sofia’s life could be better.