Building a directory that helps patients better find, evaluate, and access healthcare.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Managing a system of more than 40 locations and 250 healthcare specialists while simultaneously providing world-class customer service isn't easy. SMG (Signature Medical Group) is a physician-owned, multi-specialty, independent physician group that serves St. Louis, Kansas City and Bolivar Missouri.
By design, this physician-owned, independent group offers its practitioners, leaders and practice groups a lot of automony. This inherently creates service silos and variations in CX for patients, who are engaging SMG in some of the most important decisions they'll face in their lives.
SMG undertook the strategic taks of overhauling its brand, and thereby established clear and consistent service standards among their entire network of practitioners, administrators, marketers and more.
They recruited the help of a local digital marketing firm, who tasked me with my first assignment:
Observe the SMG service channels and prioritize recommendations on what to rebuild.
After just enough research, I mapped the user journey and presented a list of improvement opportunities. SMG was eager to provide better service in these key customer channels. The changes to these channels was prioritized based upon three factors:
Perceived value to consumers
Expected cost to the organization
Complexity to integrate and manage change
This ultimately lead to my second and third assignments:
WANNA SEE THE DATA?
I bet you do. I can show you samples of reports of this type of research, but giving you the actual data would violate my personal code of ethics. Otherwise, I'd be happy to help you gather your own data, because their data wouldn't help you anyway.
Build a healthcare directory that helps patients find, evaluate and schedule service. Expand community engagement and create health-savvy consumers.
EASING THE JOURNEY
The video on the left highlights the directory's search functionality, highlighting animation that happens to utilize easing functions to appear more gradual and pleasant. Although certain people would view this addition to the experience as something superficial, it proved to be in perfect alignment with my overall our goal of reducing the friction and flattening the bumps in a user's path to care.
From my research, I was able to hypothesize that the experience for most first-time users would be eased by answering three questions: Who can provide the specialized care I need? Who is nearest me? Who accepts my method of payment (insurance)? So I built a really sick search engine.
I then took to answering secondary questions for repeat users of the SMG system with search filters and well-organized practitioner profiles.
Expanding Community Engagement and Creating Health-Savvy Consumers
People's health needs change over time. Most patient encounters with SMG's specialists are by way of a referral from another provider. So, how do you engage a community of one-time users enough to create health-savvy consumers?
Asynchronously and On-Demand.
Allowing patients to shop is one thing, but giving them access to schedule appointments from their smart phone between getting the kids fed and helping with homework helps improve their health on their time. Automatically providing downloadable intake forms in advance of their visit saves everyone's time.
The sitemap diagram to the right illustrates SMG's effort to enrich the community and now also provides website users with the expertise of their physician group in their Health Information Channel, Events Calendar and serveral specialized Program Channels. It is by engaging users in these channels that SMG realizes its responsibility to help educate, enable and encourage people of all ages to adopt healthier eating behaviors and active lifestyles in the fight against obesity and other diseases.
Sitemaps are pathways to channel engagement. Semantics, navigation and content should be frequently tested & improved.
A beta version of SMG's health directory has been released and is undergoing testing and development. I designed and built it to facilitate appointment scheduling, content engagement, and marketing automation. Data on every key customer interaction metric is being collected and used to futher the evolution of this key consumer channel.
- Research and evaluation of existing service channels
- User experience strategy and service flow design
- User interface design and standards development
- Content strategy and information architecture
- Full-stack custom WordPress theme and plugin development
Want to play with a WordPress business directory of your own?
Show your interest by adding your email address to the list below and I might publish a generic version of this Open Source software for you on GitHub.