PROJECT: Ward Round, observations (mobile app)

About the project

Ward round is a mobile app designed for inpatient nurses in the UK. We wanted to add a 'module' to the product to allow nurses to take and track vitals/ observations during a patients stay at the hospital, and be alerted if the observations (reading) were abnormal.

In the UK they have a system (EWS) to apply a score using the patients observations. At its root, it's a risk indicator. If a patient has abnormal vitals, the patients status, or priority, is elevated. The score, by policy, will dictate what actions a nurse or doctor will take.

So we needed a feature that would allow nurses to schedule and enter vitals, see an observations trend over time, see a risk score (known as EWS: early warning score) and if score was high then trigger an alert and automate scheduled observations dictated by hospital policy.

Review, review, design, review

Previously all of this was done on paper. Which is awesome, and quick, but can be difficult to track and might be improved by automating some of the tasks and assessments required, thus potentially reducing the number of gaps that a paper system might accrue.

The layout, interactions, and visual design, all needed to be scrutinized carefully. The UX needed to accommodate different types of observations, scales, values, ranges, and levels of priority and more, so much more :)

Prototype it!

I built a rudimentary prototype, using an app called Pixate (no longer a product, I believe) to get a feel for how the scrolling interaction would feel. The body area needed to scroll simultaneously vertically and horizontally, while the timeline scrolled horizontally only, but with the body area, and the rest of the view stayed fixed. It was a challenge building a prototype that could accomplish that.

The whole mobile design team …all three of us : ) …including the director) worked together on this project, and working in concert with program managers, clinical analysts, and devs, felt we had a product we could be proud of.