Public Good Award

Georgia Brown Notify.

Finalist
Student Public Good 2021 Credits
  • Student
    Georgia Brown
  • Lecturers
    Karl Kane, Tim Turnidge, Antony Nevin
Description:

Notify is designed for patients that attend urgent care clinics – the third ill-defined space. Not the passive appointment-led general practitioners doctor office where you might wait for 20 minutes. But neither the intense high-stress environment of the emergency department. It’s the space between. Urgent care clinics provide non-appointment care and are generally open seven days a week, from 8am until at least 8pm and many offer after-hours care. These clinics play a vital role in supporting general practice services and keeping patients with mild to moderate illness and injury out of hospital Emergency Departments. In New Zealand urgent care, because of the fluctuations in patient numbers, the seriousness of their conditions, and pressures on resources, the expected triage times cannot always be met meaning patients often have a long time to wait.

In my research I learnt about theories such as the perceived quality of care, perceived wait time vs actual wait time, perceived value affects tolerance, the theory that the more personal a service is, the more people look for faults and how environmental stimuli affects patient satisfaction. The perceived quality of care is influenced by the perceived wait time and so is the patient’s willingness to return.

Through design thinking methods, journey mapping, empathy mapping, role play, questionnaires and ethnographic research I was able to pull insights from how patients were feeling. In my research, I found that the anxiety around waiting times was the most common. Sitting in the waiting room can evoke fear of ‘being forgotten’. When asked “What is the most important part of a waiting room experience for you as a patient?” a participant responded “being reassured that I will be seen and am not forgotten”. This response led to further research - “Do you feel like you need reassurance in the waiting room? (Reassurance that you’ll eventually be seen?)”, 87% replied yes confirming that reassurance is crucial in a waiting room.

My proposition was that human-centred design can be used to facilitate reassurance through transparency in communication within an urgent care clinic waiting room to enable patients to understand the experience and feel more at ease whilst waiting.

Through human-centred design, Notify facilitates reassurance in the urgent care waiting room by creating transparency in communication between staff and patients. The system empathises with the patient's worry and resolves their uncertainty by making information accessible such as their estimated wait time and how the urgent care process of triage works. Notify is a reassuring system made up of the Notify Card, Notify Display Screen and the Notify Progressive Web App which is available on iPad Kiosks and Mobile.

New Zealand district health boards would benefit from a user-friendly designed systems approach such as Notify to help increase positive healthcare experiences. They recognise the importance of adapting to the needs of people and some of their strategies for change could be implemented by the introduction of Notify.