In this project, we aim to improve patients’ pre-operative journey for joint replacement surgery at Penn Musculoskeletal (MSK) Center. We designed a new position of health care ambassador and new software features of customized medical clearance management system, in order to create a seamless experience for patients, and reduce the number of rescheduled surgeries in the range of the whole hospital. 

The team consisted students from Wharton School, Medicine School, Nursing School and Engineering School. I took part in the research phase, and was responsible for UX design.

The Journey 

Pre-Operative Journey is the time from the decision for surgery until the patient is cleared the day of surgery. By current design, it includes one half day at 3737 Market Street meeting with a variety of departments, providers and clinicians, also known as Pre-Admission Day or PAT Day. During PAT Day, patients need to meet with Patient Care Coordination (PCC), social worker (SW), and a few labs (EKG, Blood Work, X-Ray).

The complexity of PAT Day is the most common cause of surgery rescheduling. Following is the process of PAT Day, the process is more of a nested parallel structure than a linear one, and patients need to go through all of the items in the process. Missing any of them will cause a PAT incompletion and therefore a reschedule. 

Numbers & Quotes 

2748 joint replacements at UPHS last year
74% miss joint class
20% don’t talk to a social worker
1 in 8 miss at least one part of pat day
127 surgeries cancelled due to missing info

Insights & Concepts 

We get two main insights from several pain points we found through interviews and field study, then come up with two concepts according to the two insights:

  • PAT Ambassador: an internship program for undergraduates from UPenn Nursing School who want to gain real-world experience about patient process
  • A patient-customized medical clearance management system, for improving information delivery to patients in all departments of the hospital

PAT Ambassador 

  • Oversee patients along the process, ensure completion of all PAT steps
  • 1-semester program with orthopaedic surgery shadowing as reward
  • Collect feedback & observations
  • 10-12 undergraduate interns per semester:
        -   5 days/week
        -   8am-12pm morning shift
        -   12pm-4pm afternoon shift

Medication Management System

We explore more on the medication management system which faces the health care providers.

In order to give the patients a clear and customized medical clearance, the first thing is to give health care providers, the people who create these medical clearance, an easy and clear tool to work on the large amount of everyday medical clearances they need to deal with.

Also we believe the pre-operative journey in MSK Center is too specific a case to focus.We think the system should be compatible with all different departments throughout the hospital, instead of only being used in MSK Center.

User Flow #1:
Create a New Medical Clearance

User Flow #2:
Add New Items to a Medical Clearance

A New Medical Clearance 

Press "Print" to print out the medical clearance on current tab.

The info on new medical clearance is arranged in a time sequence, so it’s not likely for a patient to miss any of the items. Also, the medical clearance serves as a checklist. Once an item is finished, it'll be checked by the staff of that item. PAT Ambassadors will double check the clearance before patients leave the hospital.

In addition, the format is highly-customized, so it is not restricted in MSK Center and can be easily promoted to other departments of Penn Medicine.