Integrating virtual care into the patient experience
Virtual care has been around for quite some time, yet utilization numbers are incredibly low (around 2-7%, depending on the program). The innovation team at OurHealth worked to test a virtual care offering that would be truly helpful and easy for patients. Our hypotheses around virtual care included:
- Offering virtual care would help free up in-clinic appointments for patients who really needed to see a doctor in person, and make care available before and after our normal clinic areas.
- Some patients would feel more comfortable seeking care for more personal issues or problems that they wouldn't otherwise feel comfortable talking about in person.
- Our clinics only offered general primary care, and virtual care could open up options for other specialized care and even mental health care.
Workflows and Journeys
One factor that we predicted led to low virtual care utilization rates is how separate virtual care applications are from other health care workflows. We felt it was essential to integrate virtual care into how our patients normally schedule medical appointments.
I worked with our Product Manager to visualize potential virtual care journeys and use cases we should consider.
Collaborating with our Associate UX Designer, I tried a few options for getting virtual care from the same place patients go to schedule clinic appointments. One option called out virtual care separately, and the other one pushed virtual care further into the workflow:
Then we iterated on the placement of virtual care on the appointment scheduler page. We wanted it to be clear and apparent enough to be discoverable, but not get in the way if a patient wanted to schedule an appointment in a clinic.