Before officially declaring the product/ux designer career as my future, I took on various jobs outside of design while freelance designing. I spent some time working at a private dental practice where I assisted the owners with successfully opening our 3rd office and led a team of multilingual front desk and billing staff across the 3 locations.
Throughout my tenure at the dental practice, I wore many hats spanning across front desk duties to assisting the owners with practice management and applied design thinking to solve the daily problems we faced.
In total, I've effectively trained and managed 20 staff members by developing an onboarding and training process for new front desk staff, adjusting the method every time based on each person's learning style upon observation, and utilized my design skillset to create organized resources for the team and dentists.
Althought the onbaording process was deemed a success by the owners, many of the same questions and issues came up regarding dental insurance jargon, providers' participation with insurance networks, etc. English was a second language for a majority of the team, the lack of document organization increased paper usage being faxedus I started the initiative on this project to help improve our efficiency as a team across 3 offices.
Internal user testing
I began the project with a list of questions and pain points received from the team.
- What daily pain points do we have as a team?
- How are we currently managing our paperwork?
- Which method is currently working/not working for us? Why?
Upon observing how our team communicated and worked with each other, we discovered the following problems:
- Lack of management and consistency for internal office paperwork at the dental office
- Same questions and concerns regarding where the most updated document is
- Multitasking throughout the day; patients getting frustrated we aren't paying attention to them quick enough
- Different versions of paperwork exists everywhere among 3 locations (computers not synced)
- Staff are non-technical; need more time to learn how to type, how to multitask, and how to learn dental software / insurance sites and equipment throughout office
- Better organization needed, quicker productivity and ways to save paper, digitizing an old industry
- Improve communication between staff since there are more part-time employees; keep everyone up-to-date
Front Desk (20)
Staff wants to receive notifications on site login + passwords across practice, lower paper usage of sending fax to each other, receive updates on dental insurance information in one page.
Financial Team (6)
Staff wants a better way to keep track of missing claims, balance due from patients, notification for upcoming billing grace period deadline, and a more organized workflow of managing incoming Explanation of Benefits (EOBs)
The wireframes and a design concept of the Dashboard (1.0) screen were then shown to staff and owners. We realized a couple technical limitations were forgotten in the design when viewing on the office's computer. Our office computers faces high-ceiling windows, therefore receiving a lot of light and glare from the sunlight during the day so the design had to be updated.
Aesthetically speaking, our staff didn't care too much about the color palette or the branding of the product. They were more focused on the efficiency and usability of the site which they were pleased at the organization of the navigation bar.
I spent the next 12 hours iterating on the design with a focus on scaling down the components, choosing a different color palette, updated the typography, decreased all text sizes, and updated the padding:
Pivoting the Design and MVP
The product initially started to solve all of front desk paperwork management problems (ex: mass notifications for each user regarding insurance updates, keeping track of missing claims etc). However, after a couple days of discussion, the team felt it would be easier for the office to start using the site to keep track of insurance credentialing documents for providers instead and suggested to prioritize the chatroom.
Results & Feedback
After simplifying the vision for MissingDoc, I custom-built the site with custom field types through Wordpress and wrote the code from scratch in the Brackets software. This was a good start and it was a fun project, but it is far from finished. More testing will be needed, more features will be added, and maybe then a final design system can be solidified.
- The site completely improved the organization and management of credentialing documents (100%). Each provider used to have their own binder with current and past credentialing documents.
- Having individual profile pages for each provider kept staff up-to-date on whose documents will expire soon (100%).
- Our workflow shifted from analog to digital; we were able to cut costs on ordering new reams of paper and ink, especially.
- The need to make copies of documents from one office to fax to the next has lowered, and we don't need to waste paper anymore to send fax covers etc.