Seattle Children's
Hospital
Patient Education
Experience Design
UX Designer, UX Researcher, Project Manager

How might we support caregivers of deaf or hard of hearing children during and after visits to SCH?

The hearing loss clinic at the Seattle Children's Hospital is a multi-disciplinary clinic where caregivers of children diagnosed with hearing loss seek diagnosis, treatment, and learn to manage the patient's condition.

When visiting the hearing loss clinic, patients see up to six specialists from a number of areas to receive recommendations & assessments based on their individual needs. When at the clinic, the caregivers of patients are faced with lots of complex and technical information that they must learn to provide quality care for the patient.

The value and effectiveness of the education experience before, during, and after clinic visits was unclear and required further research. With the help of my team members Sarah Howell, Shivani Shah, and Dhwani Vekaria, I set out to identify a design solution for the education experience at the Hearing Loss Clinic.

Collecting Data

When beginning our work with the Hearing Loss Clinic, the goal of the providers was to provide an improved educational experience for families while they were visiting. We conducted user interviews to understand if the educational experience at the clinic was something that users struggle with.

The following were the key findings that surfaced after synthesizing the data collected from both primary and secondary research efforts:

  • Caregivers do not know which providers they will be seeing and what each one does
  • Providers don't know the caregiver's learning goals before the appointment
  • Caregivers don't know what questions to ask
  • The more information that is presented the smaller the proportion is recalled later
  • Some educational resources cannot be transported or replaced
  • Caregivers do not always receive the most relevant information
Who are the users?

Through our research, we were able to understand that the success of the clinic  experience is co-dependent on both the patient and the provider. The patient and their families need the provider to help them navigate the journey of learning how to manage hearing loss. At the same time, the provider has to more specifically know the unique needs of each caregiver in order to deliver effective patient education.

This dependency led us to identify three user groups to focus on when optimizing the Hearing Loss Clinic education experience:

  1. First time visitors
  2. Returning visitors
  3. Hearing Loss Clinic providers

For each type of user, we identified goals, pain points, and needs. This helped us synthesize what we learned in research in an applicable way. These archetypes kept us focused on the user needs as we designed a solution. For example, we outlined the first time visitor group as shown below:

The Solution
Final Thoughts

Working with the Seattle Children's Hospital on creating Windmill was one of the most rewarding design projects I've ever worked on. I learned more clearly how important of a role empathy plays in design. Stepping into the experiences of parents navigating a hearing loss diagnosis of their child influenced me to be more careful of how my designs can impact the lives of others.

This design project was the first time I created something that can ease the stress of a difficult and stressful life event. It is my hope that products like Windmill can turn apprehension into hope and confusion into confidence.

There is so much room for growth in the healthcare space. A world where we simplify the uncertainties that come along with caring for our, and our loved ones', health would be a better one. Speaking with just a small subset of people who have had to navigate a difficult diagnosis taught me that patients in the healthcare space need and deserve a more carefully designed experience.

Thank you for taking time to learn about this project. There is so much that my team and I explored during our design process such as co-design activities, affinity mapping, redefining the problem statement, and more. If you'd like to know more, I'd love to chat. Please reach out to me using the links below!