Ironhack — A wicked problem: Transforming Public Hospital

Of course, when we think of public hospitals, we immediately remember the endless hours in the dreadful waiting rooms. For this week’s Ironhack problem, we are going to tackle this wicked problem of how to transform the end-to-end experience in Public Hospitals, and more particularly in Emergency Services.


Surveys allowed me to gather qualitative information about who are the users and what issues they faced.

70% of users did not know their family medical history.

32% experienced longer than 15 minutes past their appointment time.

23% needed to look up their personal and family medical history in order to fill out forms.

Another form is research I conducted was phone interviews with those who have had recent experience visiting the hospital. This was the best time to conduct user interviews and help me learn the current pain point situation. Overall these are some key insights learned through interviews.

“I feel anxious when I have to fill out my forms, and it’s always a hassle of keeping track of my records.”

“I always keep my medical information in a notebook. My mom used to keep mine and all my sister’s medical information in a notebook too.”


One common pain point the user experienced was waiting in the doctor’s office to be seen. Creating an affinity diagram and empathy map showed up aspects of the user we knew and also part of user we didn’t already know. It helped us discover the understanding of the user. We wanted to know what the user feels, does, says and thinks.

Journey maps helped us tell the story of the customer experience. To define the underlining pain point, we mapped out the typical experience one might encounter when during their hospital visit.

The average user did not know or remember their medical history, let alone their family medical history.

Based on the user research, our audience gave us a great understating of who the persona might be. The best-defined persona was a user who’s a parent who enjoys being organized and is very busy with her family. Some user needs of the persona needed an ability to remember all the medical history of the family. Some of their frustration resulted in long waiting times.

Patty took her kids on her day off to the doctor for their annual checkups. She had to fill out two medical form packets and have their IDs and insurance cards prepared to show. All while making sure her kids were occupied while waiting. The kids got aggravated while they continued to wait, so Patty took them outside. After seeing the doctor, Patty recorded all the additional health information in her notepad.


How might we help a young adult that is frustrated about going to the doctor who needs to fill of medical forms but faces difficulty remembering all their medical history and their parents…along with finding where to keep this information?

Now that I know what the problem statement is, it’s time to come up with solutions. One technique used to prioritize things in a project is called the Moscow Method. Moscow derives from the first letters of different levels of priority. Must have, should have, could have, and won’t have.

I used to classify what key features is really useful to the user. The must have section the Moscow Method is a useful subset of the features that really needs to be included. We need the user to be able to share, saved and update their medical history at any given time. For parents, the profile feature was a no brainer to manage different kids’ medical history. Allowing the user to be quick and organized.

Medical Records: The user would be able to save, store, update medical records. This would also allow the user to send medical forms ahead of time to save time while at the visit.

Family Profile: Parents can easily add multiple profiles for their kids.

Insurance Card on File: Pull the latest medical insurance card on file. No more physical forms needed.


It’s also important to collect as much useful data that pertains to the process. This helped me understand who the user is and what their needs are. In the next steps, I would like to validate designs with prototype for users to test.