How do you improve a high-stakes tool when patient health is on the line?
RadPath has been an innovative tool from the start and is used every day by UCLA’s radiology and pathology departments to precisely manage patient care. The tool is indispensable for their work but had UX issues that limited how and where the physicians could use it.
The hospital wanted to expand the tool's capabilities and make it easier to customize for different departments. Because this project would directly affect the physicians' capabilities—and thus patient treatment—we had to hit the mark the first go round and do it in a way that was respectful of physicians' time.
Real-time testing leads to precise UX changes
We left all assumptions at the door and went straight to the people who would be using the tool. We sat down with several physicians across multiple disciplines to hear more about what wasn’t working, and what kind of features would make their jobs easier. It was clear from their feedback that RadPath needed to be responsive, customizable by specialty, and simpler, with a better user interface, and way less scrolling.
We reviewed live working prototypes, so we could be sure that our decision to, say, switch to easily navigable tabs, was the right one. Instead of saying that the updated version will be responsive, we had physicians try out the tool as they would when walking down a hallway, checking on a pathology report for their next patient.
By putting a working prototype in their hands, the team’s feedback was fast and invaluable, meaning we could complete our work sooner and physicians could get exactly what they wanted.
Customizable by their team
One aspect of success was ensuring that different specialties could each have their own version. When we handed over the code for the updated tool, we made it possible for the hospital’s in-house developer to tailor different interfaces to meet the needs of different kinds of doctors.
Because we were able to live test the tool, we were able to deliver the updated RadPath tool extremely quickly, and the handoff process between us and their in-house developer was simple. Now, UCLA can spin out as many discipline-specific versions of RadPath as it needs.
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.