Improving Healthcare UX: Key Strategies and Best Practices
- Increasing digitization is driving the healthcare industry to move online, reducing administrative work and overcoming geographical barriers.
- Healthcare apps offer features such as online health records, medicine reminders, health data storage, and remote connectivity with medical professionals.
- The telemedicine market is experiencing significant growth, with a projected 31% increase in India between 2020 and 2025.
So why is UX design important in healthcare?
Despite the exponential growth in the industry, there's a major healthcare UX problem in the digital healthcare system with the training required to navigate through the difficult interface of electronic medical record systems.
Besides, transferring data between hospitals is challenging as text-based files are harder for medical professionals or healthcare apps to instantly find medications or diseases or understand a patient's medical history. Healthcare professionals also have to remember lengthy and multiple passwords for multiple accounts to share reports. This can add stress and burden to doctors and nurses who work long hours and odd shifts.
The audience for healthcare applications won't be just professionals such as doctors and nurses, but also patients who come from diverse backgrounds. The challenge is to ensure that healthcare information is accessible and addresses the needs of both patients and professionals.
To start, conducting user research on both segments of users (professionals and patients) is equally important. This will help in understanding the common terms, issues, and the overall healthcare industry to come up with an application that takes into account all these factors and improves healthcare UX.
1. Minimalistic UI
Minimalistic UI is ideal in healthcare UX where users need to access large chunks of information. It helps users to navigate through the information quickly and find out what they were looking for. It increases focus on certain pieces of information and reduces cognitive load. Make sure to not eliminate the complexity of information, but manage it since a lot of healthcare data is nuanced such as statistical analysis. This can be done by following best healthcare UX design practices such as progressive disclosure and minimalistic color theme. Choosing blue can be effective as it is proven to have a calming effect which can help reduce the stress of both patients and medical professionals.
2. Design for Accessibility
While doctors and nurses are educated professionals, patients will come from different backgrounds. Many patients will be elderly and people with disabilities. According to WHO, people with any kind of disability form 15% of the world's population and this number is going to be naturally higher in the healthcare sector. Designing for accessibility can be achieved by following these things:
- Larger Font
- Color Contrast
- Simple Language
- Easy Navigation
- Text-to-Speech, caption, and video options
Such factors not only ensure that the elderly or people with disabilities can access information easily, but also everyone can experience a seamless user experience. Remember how subtitles helped you understand a YouTube video in a noisy environment? Thus, designing for accessibility can have a positive impact on all types of users.
3. Data Visualization
Visualizing the data helps manage healthcare information efficiently. Lengthy and tedious reports are presented in the form of colorful charts and graphs that can be understood at one glance. This allows healthcare professionals to understand key points, find patterns and establish correlations. Patients can also track their medical history and understand health reports without getting caught up in medical jargon and difficult information.
4. Chatbots and virtual assistants
Often, even with the most user-friendly interface, users might struggle to find some information. This is an important challenge in the healthcare UX where there are colossal pieces of information and medical professionals have to search for some data at odd hours to treat the patient. The stakes are high and humans cannot instantly solve queries 24/7. Using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can help in resolving such issues. Besides answering questions, chatbots can book doctor appointments and guide the user to relevant information. These chatbots will lead to improved communication between the hospital, medical professionals, and patients.
5. AI-powered technology
Besides automating tasks such as scheduling appointments, reminders, and data entry, AI can analyze large data sets. These include electronic patient records and test results. AI can identify patterns and generate insights that are more accurate than what humans are capable of. AI can also use insights from patient data and behavior to give more personalized care and recommendations to users. This increases user retention and overall satisfaction.
For ages, the healthcare applications developed by software developers and UX designers are a far cry from what is usable for medical professionals and patients. This industry needs UX designers who are specialists in designing healthcare apps. Healthcare UX designers need to be aware of the audience and familiar with the industry's terminologies. If you're looking to enhance your healthcare app or website, we have a team of healthcare UX specialists who are the perfect fit for building healthcare products.
So what are you waiting for? Reach out to us. Let's discuss
1. How can healthcare organizations gather user feedback to improve UX?
Healthcare organizations can gather user feedback through methods such as surveys, interviews, usability testing, and analytics. Feedback loops and continuous iteration based on user insights are essential for refining and optimizing the UX of healthcare applications.
2. Why is UX important in healthcare?
UX is crucial in healthcare as it directly impacts patient satisfaction, engagement, and overall experience. Well-designed healthcare systems and applications can enhance usability, reduce errors, and improve healthcare outcomes.
3. How can healthcare UX improve patient engagement?
Healthcare UX can improve patient engagement by providing personalized experiences, integrating interactive features such as appointment scheduling and medication reminders, and offering educational resources and self-management tools.
4. What role does data visualization play in healthcare UX?
Data visualization helps healthcare professionals and patients understand complex medical information, trends, and patterns, facilitating informed decision-making and patient empowerment.
5. How can healthcare UX contribute to reducing medical errors?
Healthcare UX can reduce medical errors by designing intuitive interfaces, implementing decision support systems, providing medication alerts, and facilitating accurate information exchange between healthcare providers.