Combating Operational Challenges in Urgent Care with an Efficient EMR

Designing an intuitive EMR system to address complex workflow issues in fast-paced urgent care environments.

AI

Design System

EHR

Overview of UrgentIQ’s newly designed EMR

BACKGROUND

When the HealthTech that Powers Urgent Care Centers Has a Serious Lag

Urgent care centers are crucial in alleviating the burden on emergency departments, offering accessible, efficient care for non-life-threatening conditions. However, they face unique challenges, particularly in managing high patient volumes and maintaining efficient operations.

Urgent care centers often experience high patient volumes with a wide variety of medical conditions and rapid turnover, requiring efficient and quick processing of each patient. Many of the existing systems fall short of providing real-time data updates, leading to delays in accessing critical information needed for timely decision-making and patient care.

OUR CLIENT

UrgentIQ is an innovative healthtech company offering tailored software solutions for urgent care centers. UrgentIQ provides a single, interoperable system that is purpose-built to help urgent care centers save time and money, improve care, and grow faster.

A collage of a hospital waiting room and an urgent care provider

PROBLEM

Battling Wait Times and Documentation Headaches

UrgentIQ encountered a critical need to improve patient intake, scheduling, and documentation processes within urgent care centers. The existing systems in urgent care centers were plagued by inefficiencies, causing delays and frustration, and hindering the quality of patient care. Here’s a closer look at the specific problems:

Providers hated the systems that were too complicated to use, especially in the fast-paced environs of urgent care centers. They were incapable of providing accurate, context-specific documentation and decision support needed to process a diverse range of symptoms and treatments efficiently.

The scheduling system lacked flexibility, making it difficult to accommodate walk-in patients and manage unexpected surges in patient volume. This caused long wait times and a decline in patient satisfaction.

Clinicians faced cumbersome documentation processes, hindering their ability to capture patient data efficiently and accurately. This impacted the continuity of care and potentially led to missed diagnoses.

OUR GOAL

A Multi-pronged Approach to Patient Flow, Efficiency, and Care

Our primary goal for UrgentIQ was to leverage user-centered design (UCD) principles to develop solutions that would:

Enhance Patient Experience: Reduce wait times, improve communication, and streamline the overall patient journey through the urgent care center.

Boost Operational Efficiency: Optimize scheduling, minimize errors, and decrease administrative burden on healthcare providers.

Empower Clinicians: Provide tools that enable them to capture patient data efficiently and accurately, allowing them to focus on delivering high-quality care.

UX APPROACH

MVP: A Quick and Effective Design Approach

 The MVP is an iterative UX strategy based on feedback loops to address user needs
Koru’s Design Methodology for designing an MVP

From the get-go, the objective was to build a strong foundation for comprehensive EHR functionalities. These included a detailed Patient List for managing and viewing all patient information, and comprehensive Patient Profiles for tracking medical history, conditions, and treatment plans. Modules for a scheduling system and Configuration settings were also included. We, at Koru, decided to use the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to create a viable solution in a short span. It is an iterative process that follows user feedback loops, addressing the unique needs and challenges of urgent care centers.

This project unfolded in two distinct phases, each with particular objectives and deliverables:

PHASE 1

In the initial phase, the team at UrgentIQ outlined requirements for the creation of core modules. These included a detailed Patient List for managing and viewing all patient information, and comprehensive Patient Profiles for tracking medical history, conditions, and treatment plans.

PHASE 2

After the soft launch, they showed eagerness to integrate AI capabilities to enhance the Patient Profile, Scheduling modules, and Charting modules.

 

 

Creating the User Persona

In the first phase, the primary users were front desk admins who managed patient intake, scheduling, and initial documentation. As the product expanded in the second phase, the focus shifted towards healthcare providers, including clinicians and nurses, who required advanced tools for patient care, documentation, and decision-making.

Persona cards of the 3 primary users of UrgentIQ’s EMR

 

Conducting Competitive Analysis

After identifying UrgentIQ’s primary users, our team conducted a SWOT analysis on existing EMR systems for urgent care centers. Notable strengths included the integration of AI, user-focused design, customization, and a variety of modules.

The analysis revealed significant opportunities for market expansion, especially through AI leverage, and strategic partnerships. However, threats such as intense competition, potential regulatory changes, and data security concerns were also identified. Strategic planning and continuous improvement proved to be crucial to seizing these opportunities and tackling the challenges.

Diagram showing the SWOT analysis for UrgentIQ

Ideation & Design

PHASE 1:
In the ideation stage of Phase 1, we focused on creating key screens crucial for UrgentIQ’s core functionality. These included the Patient Intake, Patient Profile, and Scheduling screens.

Patient Intake: Developed an intuitive interface for efficient patient intake processes, ensuring quick and accurate data capture.

Patient Profile: Created comprehensive patient profiles that simplified access to detailed patient information.

Scheduling: Designed a robust scheduling system to streamline appointment management and improve overall workflow efficiency.

Charting: Integrated AI capabilities to streamline documentation, extensive configuration, help with automated tasks, integrate e-fax/e-prescribing, smart diagnosis search, role-based permissions, voice dictation, and computer-assisted coding.

A desktop mockup and closeup of the UI of UrgentIQ’s EMR

PHASE 2:
In Phase 2, our main focus was divided into 3 key objectives:

Build Design Library: Upon reviewing the EMR system’s UI, we opted to utilize the Material design library. This decision was strategic, as it ensured scalability by streamlining development and supporting future scalability.

A snapshot of the design system created for UrgentIQ’s EMR

Standardize Old Screens: After creating the style guide and design library, we used them to review, standardize and improve the existing screens. It helped us ensure a uniform user experience across the project.

A collage of the new screes designed to fit user requirements

Create New Screens: We began creating new modules based on client requirements. Our primary focus was to improve existing features and integrate new, advanced ones.

UI Design

The simplified EMR enabled faster, more efficient patient intake and processing

IMPACT

  • The simplified navigation resulted in an increase of managing 8 more patients per day with efficiency.

  • AI-powered, streamlined SOAP-method clinical documentation integrates e-fax, e-prescribing, and lab ordering functionalities.

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