Team project | 14 Weeks

This project was about creating a patient education material for the patients going through gynecology brachytherapy. 

The project involved understanding context and perspectives to designing a solution. We created a visual communication design solution to help healthcare providers explain gynecology brachytherapy to their patients using a graphic narrative. Specifically, this project explores the radiation treatment of cervical and endometrial cancers.

In spring 2019, I worked with a group of 8 students led by Tomoko Ichikawa. This project was partnered with University of Chicago oncology department. 

My role in the project was focused on the T&O (Tandem and Ovoids) discussion guide. It included understanding the current education materials to researching with the medical staff and the patients to then develop the discussion guide. I was also part of the team responsible for illustrations across all three discussion guides. 

PROJECT BRIEF

Improve patient experience through a discussion guide. Enabling doctors to effectively set expectations while empowering patients to seek the care they deserve.

SCOPE
GOAL
OUTCOME
PHASE 1
Activity: Uncovering the landscape
UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT

We attended presentations at UCM by Dr. Callendar, and Dr. Hasan to build on the knowledge gained from literature review, and to begin our understanding of the treatment process.

ATTENDING EXPERT PRESENTATIONS

We reviewed papers on:

  • Use of graphic narratives  in healthcare.

  • Visual communication in patient education.

  • Patient education materials on gynecological brachytherapy.

REVIEWING LITERATURE
VISITING SITES

We partook in an immersive site visit at UCM by walking through a typical user’s journey through treatment at different departments with various teams and machines. We observed sights, sounds, and surroundings.

Outcome: Uncovering the landscape
MAPPED JOURNEYS
PHASE 2
Activity: Going from facts to interpretations 
UNDERSTANDING EXPERIENCE
SYNTHESIZING INTERVIEWS
ANALYSING INTERVIEWS
CONDUCTING STAKEHOLDER
INTERVIEWS

Non-Med Patient 

Support

1 PSR

1 social worker

1 clinic coordinator

1 ACR coordinator

We understood the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, we conducted 17  interviews including:

Medical Staff (Patient-Facing)

3 oncologists

2 radiation therapists

1 simulation therapist

1 medical assistant

We transcribed each interview. Further notes and observations were taken. We began to find interesting overlaps, contradictions and miscommunications between the interviewee experiences.

Patients

4 patients

MedicalStaff (Non Patient-Facing)

1 physicist

We used design methods including the Quad A framework to extract insights from our transcriptions, and mapped them to patient and staff activities, attitudes, ambitions, anxieties.

Outcome: Uncovering the landscape
MAPPED JOURNEYS
DESIGN PRINCIPLES
PREPARE PATIENTS TO AVOID UNPLEASANT SURPRISES
  • Dispel common misunderstandings

  • Prepare patients to expect changes

PROMPT PATIENTS TO SEEK CARE
  • Reduce barriers to communication

  • Raise awareness of available resources

HELP ALLEVIATE ANXIETY THROUGH CREATING AWARENESS
  • Preface variability of experience, especially pain

  • Address particular moments of anxiety

PHASE 3
Activity: Matching content to physicality
MAKING IT TANGIBLE
  • We decided how to represent different insights effectively in:

    • Text 

    • Illustrations 

    • Speech bubbles

    • Caption

  • We used insights to design a narrative and flow of information.

  • We created higher fidelity illustrations.

We broke down content in logical chunks and explored laying it on different form factors. We were looking for the following:

  • Intuitive to move through

  • Logical sections appear together

  • Production costs

We went through a few rounds of feedback to understand and refine:

  • Content

  • Experience of using the guide

  • Logical sections living together physically

Feedback was sought from Dr. Hasan, Dr. Dan, Ritu, and also a network of doctors not from UChicago

Balancing Tensions
CHALLENGES
CONTENT LEVEL
  • Finding balance between doctor and patient perspective

  • Unifying section titles for a variable process

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE LEVEL
  • Designing layout within same amount of space across different complexity levels

  • Balancing need for specificity with generalizable usage

OPERATIONAL LEVEL
  • Optimizing for production across clinics

  • Configuring folds to user flow and information flow

OUR SOLUTION: 3 DIFFERENT GUIDES

Cylinder (4.6 reading grade level)

Tandem and Ovoid (6.2 reading grade level)

Interstitial (7.0 reading grade level)

GUIDE OVERVIEW
ANATOMY OF THE GUIDE

All three versions are tabloid size (11x17) ​which then are folded in half (11x8.5)

Explain brachtherapy in detail in context of the patient

This is additional space for the doctor to provide context that is specific to the patient via a sketchpad.

Introduction

 

This section has been planned to help the doctor to facilitate a discussion with the patient about what Brachytherapy is and how their journey may go.

  • Overview of Brachytherapy

  • Area for sketchnotes

  • Callout to available resources

Specific tips for patients so they understand what resources are available to them. Calling them out as available options so that they know they have they have options for assistance.

Journey

 

  • Divided into logical chunks:

    • Planning for treatment

    • Undergoing treatment

    • Managing treatment

  • Gives temporal and experiential understanding of process

  • Depicts people patients might expect to see

My Information

  • Patients can track their progress

  • Can customize info based on a patient’s specific needs

  • Customised institution info