Mapping the end-to-end medication workflow

I worked with designers from athenaClinicals to understand the end-to-end trip a medication takes, from ordering to administration to billing. Insights from the exercise led to shifts in the product roadmap that will improve the experience on both ends of the experience.

What

Alongside designers from athenaClinicals, we explored and mapped the end-to-end journey of medication management within small hospitals. The resulting artifacts included a series of presentations to product teams, as well as a comprehensive Service Blueprint that mapped the interplay between humans, documentation and the software.

Why

The core of revenue cycle work is pulling structured clinical documentation, and turning that into a series of codes and charges that get billed to the payer. The lack of automated charge capture for medications was a major pain point for our Hospital clients, for which medication represents a significant source of revenue. Unfortunately, automating charge capture required structured data from our EHR product to come over accurately. We had a sense that by understanding the upstream workflows, we could see how they impacted the downstream activities (and vice versa), allowing us to understand how to best solve the issue.

How

Working with the UX Zone Lead for Hospital Ordering, we started by simply doing a walkthrough of the end-to-end experience with screenshots. We shared this in a joint presentation of Clinicals and Collector designers in mid-2018.

Demonstrating a piece of the workflow for Clinicals and Collector designers

The presentation started to generate interest in a cross-product approach to the problem, so we used the momentum to plan a couple of site visits with small hospital clients. We targeted two clients in the Midwest, which were relatively close together but different in their levels of sophistication and experience with athena.

Goals of the site visits, as part of the cross-product readout.

The site visits gave designers on both sides important perspective on the problem space; in particular, we recognized a handful of the points in the upstream workflow that not only could be improved for the pharmacists/nurses using them, but may have positive impacts for revenue cycle clients downstream. The resulting insights were shared both in a cross-product readout, and via a Service Blueprint that outlined the end-to-end workflow, with observations and insights mixed in.

A Service Blueprint, captured in Mural.co, helped to demonstrate the observations and pain points at each step in the process.

As a result of this research, we were able to make some fundamental prioritization shifts in the product backlogs in both Clinicals and Collector. These shifts will have impacts both in the experience of ordering/dispensing medications and the experience of finding the information needed for billing. As a final step, we created a case study for the project and presented it to the Experience Design Group to demonstrate the impact of cross-product collaboration.

Takeaways from the case study, delivered to athena's Experience Design group.

When you move away from obsessively focusing on the feature you are trying to develop and understand the end-to-end experience, you end up with a better result.  Cross-functional alignment is essential for creating stable, unified experiences.

Key Contributions