Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, one of our primary user testing locations.

The Company
Carta Healthcare manages resource coordination in healthcare. Dashboards and artificially intelligent data mining increase operational efficiency, and our SaaS products have generated millions in hospital savings.
The Challenge
Nurses at Stanford Health Care needed help streamlining their workflows. They're juggling dozens of different tasks each day, and the sheer volume of documentation and computer work is exhausting. They value time with patients, not time in front of a screen. We need to need to streamline administrative tasks to free up the clinicians' valuable time.
Build a Nurse Scheduling Module
Scheduling nurses for shifts in the OR required hours of work, taking up the chief nurse's valuable time and creating a logistical nightmare when someone needs to cancel or move their shift. Tools for managing the process are disjointed. Multiple people email excel spreadsheets back and forth, communicate with iMessage and paper notes, and input each line item by hand into Kronos, the payroll management software.
My Role on the Team
I managed a team of 4 designers working through a product sprint over the course of 12 weeks. My process was grounded in my education at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.
Empathise
Nurses work in a fast-paced, high stakes environment. They are used to tech companies trying to "fix" problems without understanding them, and all the healthcare professionals we met with had baseline skepticism of any new product to improve their workflow. They voiced three primary needs:
1. Reduce tasks in my workflow to simplify my day.
2. Visibility into how the system works.
3. Reliability is key. The process needs to work every time.
Define
Scheduling nurses for shifts in the OR required hours of work, taking up the chief nurse's valuable time and creating a logistical nightmare when someone needs to cancel or move their shift. Tools for managing the process are disjointed. Multiple people email excel spreadsheets back and forth, communicate with iMessage and paper notes, and input each line item by hand into Kronos, the payroll management software.
1. Designate blocks of time, types of nurses needed, and nurse seniority.
2. Publish available shifts to nursing staff, allowing nurses to pick their shifts in order of seniority.
3. Update the schedule dynamically as nurses call out sick and automate requests for to cover dropped shifts.
My information architecture diagram of the nurse scheduling experience
Elegant process diagram by Jeremy King, my direct report
Ideate
We rapidly iterated through rough drafts to develop a first prototype for testing with nurses.
Detailed job stories by Jeremy King, my direct report
My team of designers used the job story format to design a set of motivating descriptions of nurse activities. We then scoped out the tasks associated with each goal.
Prototype
Our next step was to design some rough mockups of what the calendar screens might look like. Here's a sample of the progress we made on building a New Calendar launch page.

a sample of the launch window for the chief nurse defining shifts to schedule

Test
In this sample you can see the simple carousel layout of calendar templates, saved from previous months' calendars. We learned a few things from showing these screens to our users.
1. Larger text. Nurses higher up in the chain of command are often 60+ years old, and we're not doing them any favors by having tiny font sizes.
2. Text buttons. These users are very risk averse. If a scheduler doesn't know the exact function of an icon she will not click on it. Use short phrases to describe the action they should expect when they click on something.
3. More options. The carousel items took up a lot of space with descriptions and preview images. These details about each calendar template are not as important as screen real estate. Fit more templates onto this page.

Our redesign of the calendar creation launch page based on nurse feedback.

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