Practice Management Research

About the project.

Upon gathering some of my own experiences and listening to those of others, I observed there was a pain in the process of getting therapy notes from our therapists. There were long wait times to receive requested notes and sometimes in the process the therapists would forget about the request in general. I decided to design the basic concepts of what a widget app would look like if it was to be integrated into already existing practice management software.

 

My assumptions moving forward with the designs were:

  • Making summarized notes or synthesizing sessions for clients is tedious

  • Therapists already use a client practice management software

  • Therapists have a large caseload

  • Clients write notes to process their therapy sessions

  • Therapists all have their own way of synthesizing notes

  • Clients want to reflect on the insights they’ve learned and that’s why they ask for notes after sessions

 

Check out my process work board on Miro

More on the process.

To understand better, I set up a design sprint based on the book “Sprint” by Jake Knapp. I started off by outlining assumptions I had and questioning the problem. Then I compiled benchmark research on apps already existing that solve similar problems. To pick a refined target, I conducted a How Might We exercise. At this point I then moved onto research more solutions and inspirations alongside sketching out potential solutions. To set-up the validation phase I recruited customers to take a look at my suggested solution. I chose to develop customer profiles for the therapist and client and then interview the customers. After hearing from 2 therapists and a client, I analyzed their pain points. I decided to narrow down my scope to a note’s widget solution for therapists. After another sketching session, I put the solutions together with a final wireframe.

Design challenges.

Some challenges arose from the customer interviews; one therapist was a private practice and the other was working in an institution. The insights showed that private practices have less channels of bureaucracy to go through when sharing session notes with a third party. Therefore, the process for writing and getting approval to share the session notes would be different for every therapist depending on where they work. Another thing I learned was that therapists limit their time note-taking per client per day based on a couple factors: how many hours they were paid to work, it’s their least favourable thing to do in a workday, they have little time to write to begin with and that not all clients are aware they can request summary notes.

Design solutions.

As a therapist, when writing session notes, I want to be more efficient writing my notes so I can share them with a third party in a timely manner. 
The solution I’m trying to validate is a notes widget app that would be integrated into an existing practice management software. It would allow therapists to write their clinical notes and have the option to export a summary of the synthesized notes to a third party.

Learnings.

Some takeaways from the project this far have been related to narrowing scope and reaching out to more therapists that fit the customer profiles. In future iterations, I would investigate further the process that each therapist uses to complete their outlined tasks in a day especially their note-taking and synthesizing practices. I would also set-up a round of usability tests with each solution for therapists at a local practice.