Working with a developer and a product manager, I served as the UX / UI design lead in a redesign and expansion of the athenahealth mobile patient portal,shipping the product in 6 weeks. The redesigned portal went live in August 2013, serving over 29M patients and over 160,000 providers. In 2013 and 2015, athenahealth was ranked #1 Best in KLAS in the patient portal category.
Athenahealth provides cloud-based EHR and practice management services for healthcare providers. athenaCommunicator, the online portal,allows patients to manage appointments, message their doctor, access their medical records, and pay medical bills.
Before 2013, the mobile version of the patient portal had very limited functionality and an out-dated design. The design goal was to update the design while maintaining consistency with the web portal and add functionality to mobile such as appointment rescheduling, scheduling a new appointment, appointment check-in, contact preferences, messaging, self pay, and health history.
Most of my projects begin with a request for a feature or solution, requiring me to counter with "That's a good thought! What problem are you trying to solve here?" However, in this case, the required feature list had already been defined, eliminating the need for comprehensive exploratory or generative research. That said,I did conduct some competitive research before sitting down to sketch anything. While surprise and delight can be carefully incorporated into many products, it's most often wise to create intuitive designs by incorporating affordances and signifiers users will recognize from previous experiences. Healthcare, medical billing, and insurance are confusing enough without a super trendy menu design or button interaction further complicating things!
So, I made sure to dedicate some time to exploring other healthcare applications - specifically other patient portals - to determine what was considered “industry standard.” I found that most patient portals adopt a pretty similar, simple design, and surmised that there's probably a reason for that -it's risky to break the mold when targeting users who are interpreting complex, potentially emotional health data.
Design & Iteration
One of the most difficult aspects of design for healthcare, especially established healthcare companies like athenahealth, is the multitude of constraints. Whether it's working within HIPAA guidelines or trying to introduce a new technology to a clinic that still uses fax machines and beepers, there is plenty to limit completely freeform design. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing! And it's actually something that attracts me to the healthcare sector. Although working in health often requires designing within complex systems wrought with rules and regulations,there is no shortage of literature suggesting that design constraints remove the paralysis of choice and beget creativity and innovation.
The biggest constraint for this project was that the design of the mobile portal had to mirror the design of the web portal - same color palette, same tone of content, and similar information architecture. So, I had to say goodbye to my bright Pantones and ultra-flat UI and instead work with grey, dark blue, and slightly less minimalism than I was used to.
I started with whiteboards...
Then moved to paper...
And finally to Axure.
I also annotated all of my designs for the developer I was working with, noting hex codes, padding, borders, size of elements, fonts, alignment, etc.
Because this project was on such a tight schedule, we ended up using the actual coded designs as opposed to a prototype for the usability tests.I worked with athena's usability team to design a test that would cover the functions we were considering top priority - mobile check in, contact preferences, and managing appointments. The developer, PM, and I served as observers and notetakers for each session while someone from the usability team facilitated.
Usability testing allowed us to uncover some of the mobile site's major bugs - for instance, initially, if there were many available appointments on a given day, the bar with Cancel and Book Appointment would be pushed down off the screen. So, we implemented an easy solution -make the bar sticky so it's always at the bottom of the screen as you scroll. The site also took a moment to load when users selected a new appointment time, causing some confusion about if the site had recognized the selection. So, the sticky bar doubled as a visual cue that the date selection had taken, since 'Book Appointment' would only turn selectable once an appointment had been successfully selected (as pictured in the screenshots to the right).
The mobile patient portal launched in August 2013, serving over 15,000 providers and over 300,000 patients. Below is a sample of both the redesigned features and the new functionality.
Original sign in and home screen
New sign in and home screen
The original home screen design is heavy and overly complicated, weighed down by dark colors and too many textures. The new design uses the same color palette but with a lighter grey. The simple list format of the homepage remains, but with added icons to break up the text. Home screen notifications were added to help the user prioritize more pressing tasks.
Old appointments page
New appointments page
Like with the home screen, the appointments screen uses a lighter color palette while maintaining the same general format. The page for a specific appointment was redesigned to add more hierarchy to the information and to better prepare the patient for their appointment. The calendar icon from the list of upcoming appointments was carried over to the specific appointment page for consistency.
Old appointment rescheduling
New appointment rescheduling
Measuring ease of task completion and task completion time demonstrated that it was more efficient for a user to first be presented with a week view, with the option to pull up a month view, as opposed to initially being presented with a month view and having to tap in to each day to see available times. User testing also indicated that users benefited from the inclusion of a banner indicating the next available appointment.
Appointment check in
Because much of the patient information will typically be pre-populated, we decided we could use a long-form format, breaking the information down into sections but keeping all sections on the same page. However, if doing this project again, I would want to compare this format against one that presents smaller chunks of information at a time, such as a wizard.
The messaging function was modeled after common email and messaging apps, such as Gmail. When users go to compose a new message, they are presented with questions such as 'What can we help you with?' and 'Who is your provider?' to help the clinic best help the patient with their request. However, these questions are not required fields, allowing users to message their clinic with a question or concern that doesn't fit into the provided format.
Patients can manage their current medications through the mobile patient portal, increasing patient compliance through easy prescription refills. now that athena has acquired Epocrates, this function could be built out to include more detailed information about each drug, including an image, helping patients ensure they are taking the proper doses of the proper medications.
The athenahealth Mobile App is your complete EHR on the go
Practice medicine on the go with a mobile app that puts the information clinicians need at their fingertips. With an intuitive design and simple interface, providers can begin using the app on day one.
Market Leader: athenahealth
Healthcare IT rating agency KLAS recently selected athenahealth's athenaCommunicator as the #1 patient portal, with a score of 91.8 on the most recent Best in KLAS awards . athenahealth's suite was also ranked #2 overall for practice sizes from 1-75 physicians.
The ICON Patient Engagement Platform features an easy to navigate, user friendly website enabling patients to explore new and ongoing studies available, opt-in and connect with their nearest clinical research site. Web based and optimised for mobile access.What is patient Web portal? ›
A patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Using a secure username and password, patients can view health information such as: Recent doctor visits. Discharge summaries. Medications.How do I set up Athena patient portal? ›
- Click the Patient Portal link in the email or text message. ...
- Confirm your email address and enter your password twice. ...
- Select a security option and then click the Setup button below that option.
The NHS App is the simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services (including services provided by Patient Access) on your smartphone or tablet. Find out more about the NHS App. Note: You will need to register for Patient Access before you can use the NHS App to access Patient Access services.What is a disadvantage of patient portal? ›
Other disadvantages of patient portals include alienation and health disparities. Alienation between patient and provider occurs for those who don't access these tools. Sometimes, this is due to health disparities if a person doesn't have a method for using them.Can patient portals be hacked? ›
Health outcomes improve. Unfortunately, what makes your patient portal valuable for patients is exactly what makes it attractive to cybercriminals. It's a one-stop shop for entire health records, and identity thieves can make a fast buck from stealing this data and selling it on.What is the most common barrier to the use of the patient portal? ›
The most common barriers to patient portal adoption are preference for in-person communication, not having a need for the patient portal, and feeling uncomfortable with computers, which are barriers that are modifiable and can be intervened upon.Why do patients not use patient portals? ›
The researchers found no demographic differences among nonusers who said that a technology hurdle, lack of internet access or no online medical record was the reason why they did not make use of a patient portal.
- Make appointments (non-urgent)
- Request referrals.
- Refill prescriptions.
- Check benefits.
- Update insurance or contact information.
- Make payments to your provider's office.
- Complete forms.
- Ask questions through secure e-mail.
PHRs, EHRs and patient portals
EHRs typically contain the same basic information you would put in a PHR , such as your date of birth, medication list and drug allergies. But EHRs contain more extensive information because they're used by health care providers to store visit notes, test results and much more.
- On the Account credentials page, under Set up account, do the following: In Username, type your username. ...
- Click Next. ...
- Under Set up security questions, select all five security questions and type the answers. ...
- Click Submit. ...
- On the Google Authenticator page, do one of the following:
- Identify your target audience. ...
- Follow your patients' priorities. ...
- Keep patient portal requirements in mind. ...
- Evaluate the efficiency of the portal. ...
- Consider data security concerns. ...
- Find your software development partner.
- Select your name in the top right hand corner.
- Select Account. ...
- In the Sign in details section, next to Mobile Number, select Verify.
- Edit or add your email address and/or phone number accordingly.
- Enter your existing password to confirm the changes.
- Select Save changes.
Your username is not your email address and is typically comprised of your first initial(s) and last name. If that doesn't work, try resetting your password. If you are still unable to log in, please submit a case to athenahealth including your username and the details of your error.How do I unlock my patient access account? ›
To reset your password using Patient Access, you must have your email address and mobile number recorded. If you don't have these details recorded, you need to contact Patient Access support. Select Forgotten Password. Enter your Email address or User ID, then select Continue.How do I reset my athenahealth account? ›
How do I reset it? To begin password reset, click the "Forgot password?" link at the bottom of your screen and enter the email address you normally use to log in. You'll be sent a link at that email address that you can use to reset your password.How do I download a Patient Access app? ›
The Patient Access app is available on the iOS and Android app stores for free. You can also access the website at www.patientaccess.com. You will need to register for Patient Access either online, if your practice allow this, or by asking for a registration letter from your practice.How do I enable Patient Access? ›
- On the Patient Access sign in screen, select Register now.
- Enter your personal details. ...
- Enter your account details. ...
- Accept the Terms and Conditions.
- Select Create account. ...
- Verify your email address.
We will need to see photo ID - either a passport or drivers licence. Step 3. The receptionist will provide you with a Patient Access token document which you will need in order to sign up to Patient Access.Is athenahealth portal safe? ›
Athena Health is the secure Electronic Health Record (EHR) program that Oaklawn Medical Group uses to hold and store all the personal health information of our patients. It is also the program that is used by medical group patients to pay their bills online. Athena Health QuickPay Portal is fully protected.Is there any information that might be excluded from a patient portal? ›
Information Excluded from the Right of Access
This may include certain quality assessment or improvement records, patient safety activity records, or business planning, development, and management records that are used for business decisions more generally rather than to make decisions about individuals.
NEW DATA: One-Third of Patients Would Use Healthcare Portals If They Had Access.How do you know if your medical records have been hacked? ›
Signs that You're the Victim of Medical Identity Theft
A bill or statement of benefits showing medical services you didn't receive. A call from a debt collector about a medical debt you don't owe. One or more medical collection notices on your credit report that you don't recognize.
Hacks on medical devices such as Insulin Pumps and Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) have been known for several years. The following vulnerabilities have been demonstrated in ICDs: patient information can be read back in plain text. the ICD operating mode can be controlled.What do hackers do with patient information? ›
This information can be used to purchase prescriptions, receive treatment or make fake medical claims. These actions can cause long-term and widespread chaos for those whose information has been stolen. A breach of PHI can pose a real threat to patients and healthcare systems alike, so it's worth protecting.What are the 3 portal categories? ›
The most common types of service portals are customer self-service portals, employee self-service portals (they often exist as a part of a larger HR portal), government service portals and patient portals.What are the 3 main barriers for patients accessing hospital services? ›
- Limited appointment availability, office hours.
- Geographic, clinician shortage issues.
- Transportation barriers.
- Limited education about care sites.
- Excellent user experience. ...
- Branding flexibility. ...
- Flexible financing options. ...
- Loyalty rewards and incentives. ...
- Integration with existing systems.
- Pro: Better communication with chronically ill patients.
- Con: Healthcare data security concerns.
- Pro: More complete and accurate patient information.
Yes, many patient portals are secure as they have security and privacy safeguards to keep your information protected. To ensure your data remains protected from any unauthorized access, these healthcare portals are hosted on a secure connection and can be accessed via a password-protected login.What does Hipaa have to say about patient portals? ›
Online patient portals allow patients to view their medical records, schedule appointments, and even request refills of prescriptions, anywhere the patient has access to the Internet. Patient portals contain information that constitutes electronic protected health information (ePHI) under the HIPAA Security Rule.Why is a portal needed? ›
Portals give clients easy access to relevant information such as FAQs, troubleshooting tips, company and product details, and much more. With well-managed portals, all this information is correct and up to date.Are patient portals easy to use? ›
Patient portals are secure, personal Internet connections to a health care practice. Portals are hailed as an easy and efficient way for patients and providers to exchange health information.Why do doctors use portals? ›
An online patient portal is a website that is used to access personal health information. The patient portal is helpful for patients to keep track of their medical visits, test results, billing, prescriptions and insurance, among others.Can you ask a doctor to keep something off the record? ›
If you find an error in your medical records, you can request that it be corrected. You can also ask them to add information to your file if it's incomplete or change something you disagree with.Which EHR system is the best? ›
- The Best EHR of 2022.
- Practice Fusion.
- Kareo Clinical.
- Netsmart myUnity.
- AdvancedMD EHR.
- Athena Health.
Now, physicians who fail to participate in MU will receive a penalty in the form of reduced Medicare reimbursements. Physicians must use certified electronic health records technology (CEHRT) and demonstrate meaningful use through an attestation process at the end of each MU reporting period to avoid the penalty.What is the most popular patient portal? ›
athenahealth, ranked #1 by Best in KLAS in 2022 for two of our top-performing product solutions, athenaClinicals Ambulatory EHR and athenaIDX practice management, connects care with cloud-based services and mobile tools for medical groups and health systems, helping providers thrive through change and focus on patient ...
- On the logon page, click Forgot password.
- In Email or Username, type your username or verified email address. ...
- Click Submit. ...
- Open the email you received and click Password Reset.
- On the Reset Password page, do the following: ...
- Click Submit.
Duration of the Project
Depending on the technological profile and the size of the team, project execution can take three to six months, on average.
- Securely message your doctor.
- Request prescription refills.
- Schedule non-urgent appointments.
- Check benefits and coverage.
- Update contact information.
- Make payments.
- Download and complete forms.
- View educational materials.
The features of patient portals may vary, but typically you can securely view and print portions of your medical record, including recent doctor visits, discharge summaries, medications, immunizations, allergies, and most lab results anytime and from anywhere you have Web access.Can I have 2 accounts on Patient Access? ›
Please note that each individual Patient Access account must have a separate email address. You cannot use the same email address for multiple people or family members. Or you can download the Patient Access app for your phone or tablet.Does Patient Access have an app? ›
With Patient Access you can access your local GP services at home, work or on the move — wherever you can connect to the internet. You can use either desktop or Mobile app to use the patient access.How do I create a Patient Portal account for athenahealth? ›
Just look for the Patient Portal link and click on it to be taken to the Patient Portal welcome page. Once there, click the sign-up link below the Log in with athenahealth button. This will take you to the registration page, where you can create your athenahealth account.What is HealtheLife app? ›
The HealtheLife app gives you easy mobile access to Fort HealthCare's MyCompass patient portal. The online medical records content shown in the app is the same information available on the website. You can download the app for iPhone and Android systems today.Does athenahealth work on IPAD? ›
athenahealth, Inc. Requires iOS 13.0 or later. Requires iPadOS 13.0 or later.How do you access the ascension portal? ›
- To sign up for a portal for your hospital visits, go to any registration desk in your local Ascension hospital. ...
- To sign up for a portal for your doctor office visits, call your Ascension Medical Group doctor's office or simply talk to them when you are there for a visit.
To more easily connect to your Southwest General HealtheLife account, download our free app for your Android device (Google Play) or iOS device (App Store).Is Patient Access the same as my GP app? ›
The GP app is different from the patient app because the government requires your surgery to undertake medical reviews of all their patients, such as making sure enough cancer screenings and immunisations have taken place.What is Cerners patient portal called? ›
HealtheLife. The Cerner patient portal offering, HealtheLifeSM, is a web-based solution that enables interaction and engagement between health care organizations and people in their population.How do you use patient portals? ›
If your provider offers a patient portal, you will need a computer and internet connection to use it. Follow the instructions to register for an account. Once you are in your patient portal, you can click the links to perform basic tasks. You can also communicate with your provider's office in the message center.Can I use telehealth on my iPad? ›
Telehealth by SimplePractice on the App Store. This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.Can I use my iPad in hospital? ›
Mobile devices can be used safely in hospitals. You can support patients to use their mobile devices appropriately as follows: Ask patients to respect people's privacy if they look like they are taking photos without permission, e.g. of staff or other patients in the background.Can a telehealth be done on an iPad? ›
You can use BlueJeans on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch if it has a working microphone, speaker, and front-facing camera, and can connect to the internet. Most patients no longer need to download the BlueJeans app to participate in a telehealth visit.How do I get Ascension Activation Code? ›
Complete the Ascension MyChart Access Form at your physician's office, or provided to you at the hospital, where you will be issued an activation code. Note: If you did not receive an activation code during your visit, please call your primary care physician to receive one or ask to sign up during your next visit.How do I get the path of ascension set? ›
Access to the Path of Ascension is unlocked by purchasing the first tier upgrade of Path of Ascension from Haephus, the Sanctum Upgrades facilitator in Elysian Hold. Unlocks access to the Path of Ascension and the ability to challenge up to 6 bosses. Speak with Haephus to get started.What is my ascension? ›
My Ascension is a feature length documentary that chronicles Emma's inspiring journey and quest to walk again, as she works to bring Hope Squad, a school-based suicide prevention program, to Louisiana.