Improving the Patient Experience with Innovation: A User Experience Designer’s Perspective (Part 2)

In my last blog I talked about the need for health professionals to stay on top of new innovations and technologies. Patients are becoming more active and savvy in their care, and it’s important for us to be on the same page.

An example of this type of active patient is my colleague, Mike. I spoke about Mike in my previous blog, and told how he—a UX designer—developed several tools to help improve his healthcare experience after having a heart attack at 39. Some of his tools included:

A patient card

Mike found it frustrating that he was constantly asked for the same information from different members of his healthcare team. So he developed a laminated health info card that corresponds to the different stages of an office visit, and the type of information that is required at each stage. He reasoned that coming in with a pre-filled card would help save him and his healthcare staff a lot of time, and it did.


The front of the card includes information for the admissions nurses, and the reverse side contains information that nurses need once he is in the exam room. His nurses think it’s great, and Mike believes the card has helped his office visits run smoother.

My Daily Food Plan

Because of his condition, Mike has been visiting with a Registered Dietician. He was having a hard time with health numeracy, especially when trying to figure out the exact amount of certain foods he should be eating. The RD was using the USDA’s MyPlate illustration to try to guide him, but he really needed more information that was specific to him and his needs. So he created his My Daily Food Plan.


It’s still a work in progress, but this tool helped him better understand his daily food recommendations. It provides an area where the RD can fill in what she wanted him to eat. Then, she can go over it with Mike. Plus, the photos at the bottom helped Mike visualize correct portion sizes.

iPhone apps

To get the most out of his office visits, Mike often uses the voice recorder app on his iPhone. Before, he found that he was having difficulty remembering and understanding what his healthcare team— specifically his doctors—were telling him. Having the ability to replay conversations and instructions has made a big difference in Mike’s patient experience.

The Wittings Blood Pressure Monitor is a blood pressure cuff that comes with an iPhone app, that Mike has found to be useful. He got this tool because he wanted to be able to track his numbers to learn what’s normal for his body, and what’s not. He didn’t want to have to wait for his check-up appointments. The monitor stores all the information on his phone via the app, and helps him understand his blood pressure over time, how different medicines and activity may have an impact, and tracks trends over time through graphs and charts. 


To read more about new and innovative technologies, stayed tuned to—a product review section is coming soon! It’s where health professionals will be able to share innovative  health products, as well as how they work in practice.


About dominikablogs

Dominika is a Community Manager of SurroundHealth, an online network where health professionals of different backgrounds come together to learn and share best practices. Dominika has her Master's in Public Health, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to SurroundHealth, Dominika worked for Kaiser Permanente, American Cancer Society, both in Patient Services and Community Health, and for HealthEd, developing patient education materials.
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One Response to Improving the Patient Experience with Innovation: A User Experience Designer’s Perspective (Part 2)

  1. mindyrd says:

    Innovation in patient education can come from three different avenues!

    We as the providers, should always consider the stage of change that are patient’s live in, at that time. We use motivational interviewing in our encounters for increasing likelihood of adherence to self selected goals.

    The scientists and innovators who develop and test these innovative approaches.

    And, of course, the people who are in our offices looking for assistance to move towards better health literacy.
    Thank you for reminding us about that. Take a look at the project called OpenNotes. What a great concept, integrating patients with their own medical record. Think of the immediate learning opportunities.

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