We partnered with Mobile Health, a leading clinic servicing Home Health Aides for their annual health screenings, to expand their service offering and provide online training to Home Health Aides. We are engaged to conduct a design workshop to identify service model and envision the online learning platform.
Home Health Aides are certified caregivers who provide personal care to patients who need assistance due to illness, disability, and age. Their job responsibilities range from grocery shopping to administrating basic medical tasks. Every year, they need to complete a training session (sometimes referred to as in-services) to remain certified. The training is currently all in-person. Mobile Health sees the business opportunity of bringing the majority portion of the training online.
How might we design a service model and an online training platform that is engaging and rewarding for Home Health Aides?
Pre-Workshop: Industry Research
To conduct the workshop, we first needed to understand the industry more as we did not have any previous knowledge of the field. Therefore, I conducted research to gain more insights into the industry.
What does Home Health Aide do? What are the demographics of the workforce?
Research on Indeed.com and US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Interview the Director of Operation at Mobile Health, who had an extensive background in recruiting and managing Home Health Aides
The workforce is largely made up of women immigrants. Although rated one of the most rapidly growing health career in the past decade, most care agencies offer little to none career growth and minimal pay.
what is mobile health’s business model? and how might it change with the addition of the new training service?
Interview executives at Mobile Health
Pre-Workshop: Competitive Analysis
Who are the main competitors in this field? What are their advantages?
Interview CEO and Director of Operation at Mobile Health
Search for agencies that are hiring Home Health Aides and existing training agencies
Currently, the annual training is provided by agencies that employ Home Health Aides. The biggest agencies include Edison Home Health Care, Royal Home Health Care, Visiting Nurse Service of New York. These agencies are very established in the field and have recruited a big network of Aides. There are also newcomers who are disrupting the field, such as Hometeam, who focuses on providing quality care by empowering Aides.
What is mobile helath’s vision of the training service offering? How does it fit into the overall company strategy?
Interview CEO, CFO and Director of Operation at Mobile Health
By providing training services, MH can strengthen its existing partnerships with existing Aide agencies and form new partnerships with other agencies. The new service will bring in a new revenue stream with relatively low cost. It can also build enhance brand relevancy among Home Health Aides as it offers all things compliance-related to help the aides stay certified.
What are the new trends in the industry? How can MH take advantage of these visions and establish its leadership position in this field?
Search for industrial news online
There have been many disruptions in the health care industry, with the focus being on utilizing technology to streamline traditionally process-heavy operations and providing better and more modern customer experience. MH should not restrict itself by following its competitors model, but to think outside the box and create services that truly add value to Home Health Aides, patients, and Home Care agencies.
Pre-Workshop: User Research
To design an online training platform for Home Health Aides, it is critical to interview Home Health Aides and to understand their attitudes and thoughts about their work and the training they receive currently.
We conducted our user research at Mobile Health’s clinic, where many Home Health Aides are present for their annual health screening. We interviewed the Aides at the waiting room who were waiting for their screening. The interview was enlightening. We were armed with knowledge not only through our conversations with the Aides but also our observation.
In-person interviews with aides
Most of the aides view their job as a gig rather than a career. They are not only the caretaker of their clients but also their own family. Therefore, they always seek to work at locations near their home. For the training, the aides’ opinions are divided. Some think it is fun while others think it’s a chore. For all of them, they think it’s important that they get paid for their training time, as it takes away time from their home health work.
Pre-Workshop: Ideation Session
With the research insights in mind, we conducted an internal ideation session to come up with service ideas for MH. The goal of the workshop is for us to reflect upon our research insight, generate initial ideas for the service offering, and eventually showcase these ideas during the workshop and use them as starting point for broader group brainstorming.
After the session, we turned these ideas into baseball card formats, so that people can refer to them easily during the workshop.
The workshop lasted two days. Attendees included Mobile Health’s CEO, CFO, CTO, and Head of Operations. On the first day, we focused on ideation by highlighting research insights and providing structured individual and team brainstorming sessions. On the second day, the stakeholders collectively selected one problem to work on during the rest of the session and then switched gear to create prototypes.
At the beginning of the workshop, we identified some ground rules, as shown below.
We also printed out our insights from user research and industry research and stuck them to the wall of the meeting room, which created an immersive environment that elicited empathy.
On the first day, we identified the service components, which include data sharing, scheduling, communication, transportation, remote learning, in-person learning, and compensation. In each component, we brainstormed different ways of providing the service. For example, for communication, Mobile Health can utilize SMS, Whatsapp, provide free tablets to Aides for work purpose, or rely on the traditional physical mail. For remote learning, mobile health can provide textbooks, audiobooks, build learning kiosks, or go with the learning platform as they originally envisioned. This exercise helped stakeholders to think creatively and challenge their previous assumptions.
On the second day, we guided the stakeholders to narrow down one service areas that they would like to explore further during the workshop. After a lengthy discussion, all stakeholders agree that online learning is the approach they want to take for the training service, but they are mostly concerned about onboarding and engaging aides to the platform, as they frequently have trouble communicating effectively with aides in their health screening service line.
Naturally, the session’s focus turned to how to improve communication and drive user adoption so that Mobile Health can achieve its business goal.
To understand the aide’s experience with the online learning portal, we guided the stakeholders to map out the user journey.
While mapping the journey, it became evident that the key to success is to position the learning platform as a hub for skill improvement and provide continued incentives through providing monetary rewards as well as a sense of achievement.
The workshop ended with a clear action item for my team: create a prototype that drives adoption and engagement.
After the workshop, my team was tasked to summarize the service model and design a prototype for the online learning platform.
We broke down the service model into three components - Onboard Agencies, Engage Aides, and Build Career. The Onboarding part focuses on communicating effectively about training and established the first brand experience. The engagement part aims at building trust and relationship with aides. The career growth part targets creating incentives and motivating aides for training.
We then dived into designing the prototype of the online learning platform. The prototype ended up having three parts - Onboarding, Learning Platform, and Staffing Management Platform.
During the user sign up flow, the application needs to achieve two goals:
Collect all necessary data for sign up and avoid attrition
Convey the brand experience and create a great first impression
The end design tackles these challenges by using the following design strategies:
Using conversational copies that users can easily understand
Present progress bar to show progress
Ask the user to pick a reward for signing up right before creating the password
Create excitement and clarity through visual design
Learning Engagement Platform
Once the aide finished signing up, they will have access to their learning platform, where they can check their training timeline, action items, learning progress, achievements, and rewards. When designing this screen, I was inspired by project management tools and games like candy crush. Combining timeline tracking and gamification, this platform aims to motivate aides and communicate action items.
Staffing Management Platform
The recruiting agencies that work closely with aides will also be affected by the introduction of the learning platform. Specifically, the platform communicates aide’s learning progress and specialization. It also helps recruiters build rapport with aides by prompting recruiters to congratulate aides with their learning progress. Recruiters will also be able to staff cases based on aide’s specialization.