In 2013, HSS approached my employer Experience Digital to build a proof of concept Patient Administration System (PAS) for their new hospital in Sydney's West.
This project required an extensive research phase as there was an existing PAS in one of the client's existing hospitals, which was to form the basis of our work. I was tasked to discover the existing system's limitations from a usabiility perspective.
I spent several days at the existing hospital, soaking up as much information as possible on how the existing clerks, data processers and administrators were interacting with the system. I discovered many pain points in their existing system:
- The existing system was not one but many smaller systems that did not talk to each other. This meant paper pushing, data transport on USB sticks and manual data entry.
- The existing PAS did not communicate with Medicare API, nor did it interact in any way with the many private medical insurer APIs.
- The PAS at the hospital did not communicate with databases at the doctor's offices, which used phones and emails to communicate and book operating theatres at the hospital.
Meeting the challenge
The HSS provided our team with a big challenge; that of creating a system that met business requirements, while following the user-centred design principles. We created our proof of concept with the following:
- Integration of doctor's offices into the PAS, giving them direct access to view and book theatres for their patients.
- Building integration with Medicare API, to allow administrators to check eligibility for patients without going through hoops.
- Utilising medical insurace company APIs to find out what's covered for a patient cutting out phone calls, and manual verifications.
- Integrated billing functionality, that billed patients, after taking into account all of their medical expenses covered by insurance.
- Provide surgeons with an intuitive paper management system that digitised their notes from the operation theatres (surgeons do not like to interact with digital writing interfaces inside operating theatres).