UX vision and product strategy for Proceduralists

athenaClinicals is well known as a best-in-KLAS EHR for "front door" practices, e.g. primary care, family medicine, etc. As the industry, and our client base, continues to shift towards serving more complex multispecialty groups, we recognized a unique challenge facing our specialist clients: the need to use different EHRs in clinic and operative settings which didn't communicate with each other. This issue was particularly acute for Ortho clients, which represent a rapidly growing part of our client base.


How might we ease the burden of coordinating care across clinic and operative settings particularly for high-volume proceduralist specialties like Orthopedics?

🔍 Discover

In the first phase of this work, we needed to stay broad, to get as complete a picture of the problem space as we could. We started with a comprehensive review of previous research, analytics, and Voice of the Customer feedback. Then, we went on site visits to see how our large multi-specialty clients operated - one focused on orthopedics, the other a broader base which included Cardiology, General Surgery, and Nephrology.

As we dove into the data, we ended up honing in on the issue of coordinating procedures across care settings. While still fairly broad, this issue encapsulated a number of issues unique to Ortho practices:

  • the need to coordinate different types and levels of care across the patient journey eg. office visits, PT, and surgical care
  • the need to capture and find documentation from different providers across care settings related to a set of acute issues for a single patient
  • the need to pass documentation across different EHRs without losing context — or worse, cluttering up either system with irrelevant documents

Our findings from this research were encapsulated in:

  • a service blueprint detailing how tasks, documents and players/systems moved across settings
  • a series of readouts delivered at various points in the project to share what we were hearing.

📖 Define

Working with the team, we were able to identify a handful of promising opportunities to rapidly validate with our customers and partners. I worked with my lead designer to organize and facilitate a workshop with a cross-functional group that included representatives from R&D, Customer Success, and Sales to validate the opportunities, which we then refined into a cohesive storyboard presentation which illustrated how these opportunities might come together across a patient's journey.

📐 Align

Over the course of the next several months, I socialized the vision and opportunities across multiple areas of the business. Some opportunities were picked up right away by teams in Clinicals and Platform; others took longer to gain traction. At the end of 2019, I was asked to join a task force to formulate a roadmap and business case that would enable us to increase our investment in serving the Ortho specialty. The research and vision I had created with the team was included alongside critical feature gaps for Billing, clinic workflows, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers, to create a 5-year investment and delivery plan.

Dani hosted a number of workshops and working sessions over the past months that have demonstrated her strong ability to walk diverse stakeholders through a user challenge as well as potential avenues for tackling them. This required a host of skill-sets across which she excels (e.g., clear communication, dynamically responding / adapting to comments, structuring thought exercises). - Joia Ramchandani, Product Lead

✅ Outcome

The investment plan I helped the team create has been underway since early 2020, and has grown to include an offering for Ambulatory Surgery Centers, which I helped provide the discovery and definition for. To this day, my original research is still referred to by Designers and Product Managers looking to better understand the Orthopedics specialty.