putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
17 November 2010

Michele Visciola on online healthcare information

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

Michele Visciola
Michele Visciola, Experientia partner, gave a talk this week on online healthcare information at the 16th IFHRO (International Federation of Health Records Organizations) Congress in Milan, Italy.

The International Federation of Health Records Organizations (IFHRO) serves as a forum for the exchange of information relating to health records, education of medical record personnel, and information technology.

The talk, entitled “Online healthcare information: where is the divide between a trustable and an untrustable information and communication system?”, highlighted how a user-centred approach can be used to provide healthcare information that meets user needs.

Here is the executive summary of his talk:

How and what kind of information is provided by online healthcare services is critical to designing a user-centred system that meets user needs, and does not put individuals’ health at risk. The move of healthcare information to the online world has raised some serious concerns in terms of content and the ways in which the information is used. The paradigm shift from personal consultation with a trusted family doctor to inquiries made to an anonymous or general online source has created a context of self-diagnosis from online information, leading to potential health disasters. The open access to information that was previously the privilege of medical practitioners has created a situation in which the patient’s desire for immediate information conflicts with the need for professional advice.

This research project benchmarked 41 websites, within Italy and internationally, to understand how a user-centred approach can be used to provide healthcare information that meets user needs. The project focused in particular on the needs of patients, and their family and friends.

The healthcare information needs of patients can be grouped into Knowledge, Action and Sharing. “Knowledge” is the inherent information the patient needs about her/his health, such as details on the illness, prevention, care, the health structure, ethics and rights, and well-being. This can be either “cold” information (top-down) or “warm” (bottom-up or horizontal). “Action” includes the reactive and proactive behaviors that the patient can take, while “Sharing” is the exchange of information, experience and emotions with people in similar situations.

The 41 websites explored were selected as best practice in the field, and the ways in which they supported the above classification of user needs was considered. For each of the three areas described above, we identified the ways in which patients’ information requirements were met (or not) by the sites.

When comparing Italian sites to the international sites, we found that the international sites were more developed in terms of interactive and personalization solutions. Within Italy, the least developed areas are Action and Sharing, which are the most complex categories and play a fundamental role in the patient’s world. The “cold” top-down information was the most complete and organized, while there was little space dedicated to horizontal communication. The Italian sites tended to present one-way, pre-packaged communication that focused on “useful” information, but ignored “emotional” aspects. Regardless of the local cultural dimensions that are not considered in this study, we recommend that online healthcare information should focus on improving the following at the 3 identified levels: “Knowledge”: provide real possibilities for knowledge through presentations and memos. “Action”: Give people the chance to participate in assessing what they need to do. “Sharing”: Provide instruments for sharing and discussion.

Be the first to share
Related Article
23 January 2015
Designing a user experience for wearable devices
Gradinar Razvan discusses some of the questions that UX designers will need to consider when designing for wearables. In particular, he presents the key things that designers should keep in mind when they are designing …
Related Article
20 January 2015
Pfizer uses ethnography and medical anthropology in drug development process
In 2013 Pfizer leadership realized that to better enable patient engagement throughout the entirety of the drug discovery, development, and delivery process, the company needed to be more systematic. Pfizer CMO Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D. explains …
Related Article
20 January 2015
Microsoft survey in 12 countries highlights people’s concerns about privacy
Microsoft’s second annual survey (pdf) of Internet users around the world has many obvious insights on the benefits of technology for how people shop, work, learn, and generally get stuff done, but only one real …
Related Article
19 January 2015
Time for Big Anthropology
Numbers don't tell us everything we need to know [in health care], writes strategic consultant Dan Beckham. We must also consider human culture: "That's often the problem with big data, analytics and chasing metrics. They too …
Related Article
19 January 2015
Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness
Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness Report by David Verbeeten The Conference Board of Canada, 52 pages, January 15, 2015 This report explores “nudging,” a new, cost-effective policy tool than can be used …
Related Article
16 January 2015
Videos online of Service Design Global Conference 2014
On 7-8 October around 650 global thought leaders and practitioners from sectors such as hospitality, insurance, retail, telecommunications, finance, IT and healthcare gathered in Stockholm for the 7th Service Design Global Conference. Coming from 40+ …
Related Article
12 January 2015
First edition of UX STRAT Europe to take place in Amsterdam this June
UPDATE: Yesterday we wrote that all keynote speakers were American. The conference site has meanwhile been updated and they are in fact ...as they should be... all European! UX STRAT Europe will take place in Amsterdam …
Related Article
5 January 2015
A manifesto for qualitative research (and more)
TNS, a global company specialised in market research, global market information and business analysis, has published some papers that are quite aligned with what the UX research and design community has been practicing for years …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

See all articles