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UCSF

Engagerx

Background

A team of 3 graduate students and I partnered with UCSF designers and physicians to work on Engage Rx: a digital clinical support tool that uses artificial intelligence to help physicians make accurate prescription decisions for hypertensive patients. Our partnership lasted 3 months from February 2020 to May 2020.

The target issues and EngageRx features included:

Target Issues

EngageRx

  • Limited time with patients 

  • Complex EHR System

  • Decision Making

  • Consolidates Relevant Information

  • Presents Patient Graphs on hypertensive outcomes

  • Algorithm - Treatment Options

Problem Statement

Upon discussion with UCSF's team of designers and physicians, they wanted to investigate the following questions: (1) How can this tool be used effectively by clinicians in their daily workflows? (2) What features do clinicians find most important? 

Discovery Process

To better understand how this tool could be used by physicians and what their problem-areas were, we planned and scheduled several interviews and user-testing sessions with UCSF physicians. As for my specific role, I was the main research lead for my team and conducted the literature review, created interview guides, and facilitated the documentation/note-taking of our findings. Within 1 month, we successfully conducted:

  • Literature review of EHR interventions

  • 2 Focus groups

  • 3 Interviews with Physician on EHR issues

  • 5 User tests for EngageRx

Themes

As the research lead, I led several affinity charting sessions with the other graduate students to synthesize themes from our findings. I also facilitated the creation of How Might We statements so that we could start ideating solutions that might address the barriers we identified. A summary of our findings are provided below:

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Personas

To better understand and communicate user needs, our team created several clinician personas when developing our storyboard. While my team and I worked together to develop content for these personas, I was largely in charge of designing and copywriting the final drafts of the personas.

Final personas involved several different clinician roles (i.e. patient, nurse, doctor) that would be involved in the workflow of using EngageRx based off of qualitative findings. 

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Recommendations

After data synthesis, we visually presented our recommendations in a storyboard format to the EngageRx clinician stakeholders.

I was in charge of creating the graphics for the storyboard and overall visual layout.

In this presentation, we detailed how certain EngageRx features can address clinician concerns and maximize usage. On the right, you can scroll through the recommendations we presented. 

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Reflections

Due to COVID-19, many of our in-person interviews were cancelled. Since our sample size is relatively small, we would have preferred to interview more users to strengthen our findings. If given more time, future considerations may include having alternative interview methods prepared ahead of time for remote data collection. Due to privacy concerns, we were also unable to directly include mock-ups of the actual EngageRx prototype. To circumvent this, I designed more simplistic models to represent the prototype in the recommendations above. 

Reflection back on this experience, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have worked with UCSF for their digital tool development. As an undergraduate student, it was also amazing to work with graduate MPH students who had various expertise in implementation science and data analysis. We all contributed different strengths to this project, and I was happy that my skills in graphic design were helpful for persona and storyboard development. Overall, it was great to see that our recommendations were able to inform their design and increase their likelihood of successful implementation!