Leveraging HCD to care for Frontline Healthcare Workers

Leveraging HCD to care for Frontline Healthcare Workers

NuAxis Innovations’ mission centers around providing an excellent Customer Experience for our federal agency partners and the citizens engaging with the federal government services they provide. NuAxis has sought to extend this mission to care for the individuals who cared for our country’s citizens throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—healthcare workers on the front lines. Healthcare providers experienced unprecedented levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many to suffer symptoms of depression and anxiety. The high volume of patients and acute danger to their health and the health of their families has resulted in many doctors and nurses feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and burnt out.

NuAxis took on the challenge of exploring solutions for healthcare providers for dealing with burnout associated with the unprecedented public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so, NuAxis embarked on a Google venture Design Sprint with SMEs with technical, business, healthcare, and customer experience expertise, which allowed us to explore the issue with human-centered design.

Prior to the sprint, we surveyed nearly 30 front-line healthcare workers across the United States, Asia, and Europe in job roles ranging from EMTs and firefighters to ER doctors and healthcare administrators about the toughest challenges they faced in serving on the front lines of a global health crisis. Our findings—that providers were stricken with grief, overwhelmed, and traumatized—helped us define the focus of our sprint: to find ways to mitigate the suffering of these front-line workers while they worked to ease the suffering of others.

During the sprint, we interviewed providers across the United States on their experiences. Based on the data collected during our survey, we expected to find information that highlighted the direct and personal challenges providers faced while working on the front lines of the pandemic. What surprised us was the finding that the response of the healthcare administrators compounded the stress and trauma of the front-line workers, as detailed in the Google Venture Design Sprint map of the process we used to clarify the problem during the sprint.

 

As a result, we focused our solutions around the concept of a system that would enable healthcare providers and administrators to work better together to address the emergent needs of patients during the pandemic.

Below is an excerpt from the storyboards of our solution, which highlights the features of MedViva that enable hospital administrators and providers to manage the elevated demands and stress levels which accompany the outbreak of a pandemic.

Administrator Storyboard:

 

Provider Storyboard:

Once we developed detailed storyboards of our solutions, we went back to our interviewees and asked them to provide feedback. Now that their input has been incorporated, we are in talks with an area university to pilot our solutions with their nursing school program.

The MedViva wearable and dashboard arms providers and administrators with the data to understand and address the stressors which contribute to provider burnout. By gaining a deep and holistic understanding of the ecosystem surrounding healthcare provider attrition, hospital administrators will be empowered to implement policies that alleviate provider stress rather than exacerbate it. Similarly, healthcare providers will be afforded better insight into their stress levels and will be better equipped to manage their stress long term. We hope that armed with the insights provided by the MedViva system, hospital administrators and healthcare providers will be able to work together to create a working experience that leaves providers feeling supported, refreshed, and engaged as they work tirelessly to keep us all safe.