TheraDoc pharmacy assistant

List of key patients to help the Pharmacists prioritize their workflow.

Sometimes you are just limited with the technology at hand. I came to TheraDoc with the challenge of improving the clinical pharmacy workflow in an application that was sitting on years of technical debt. The application was very powerful for a Clinical Pharmacist - it contained an alert engine with unique algorithms, including a best in class Antimicrobial Stewardship surveillance algorithm. Users could create just about any alert they needed to find intervention opportunities. However, the workflow to connect the alerts to the necessary documentation and reporting was siloed and choppy at best.

Prioritized list mocked up in Axure.

How does a designer fix the workflow on an old architecture? The answer is with a lot of patience. It took three years of intense User Research and many many design concepts to get to the release of the Pharmacy Assistant. I learned that sometimes the ideal design is not feasible when there are years of technical debt to overcome. I also learned that you cannot just redesign an application without freaking out the long time users. This was an exercise of constant iterative design to find the right level of workflow improvement, added value, and technical feasibility. 


The User Research showed me:

  • Pharmacists only want to be alerted to very high priority, time-sensitive issue. Not every potential intervention opportunity needs to be pushed to them during their busy schedules. 
  • Their preference is on a "pull" system to go look for lists of patients that meet certain criteria for interventions. (My experience with Sentri7 really helped with identifying this.)
  • Pharmacists want their intervention write ups to be efficient and quick. They write up quite a few a day. It would also help to jump quickly to the start of a document as they review their list of patients. 

They needed a workflow solution to tie the pieces that TheraDoc already had together. Given the constraints, I developed a design solution that fit into a similar framework and workflow as another product - the Infection Control Assistant. The focus was providing key lists of patients that could be "pulled" instead of "pushed" with a quick link to opening up their intervention documentation. 

Opening an Intervention to document recommended medication changes. 

Intervention concept mocked up in Axure.

The end result wasn't the "ideal" solution, but rarely does that happen. We did improve the efficiency of the TheraDoc application for the pharmacists by focusing on their workflow. This was a step in the right direction to get to that ideal solution. 

Note: Due to a non-disclosure agreement, I cannot show any wireframes that did not make the final cut for the Pharmacy Assistant.