HEALTHSCOPE

A BROWSER EXTENSION TOOL TO ENABLE PATIENTS TO BECOME EMPOWERED HEALTHCARE CONSUMERS

The idea behind Healthscope began when I encountered a New York Times article about hospitals now being required to post price lists of their services online. As soon as I saw the title of the news story, I knew that, at the center of it, would be a design problem.

While it was not the most optimistic piece of news, I took it as an opportunity to be critical and address the new legislation's mistakes which happened to include a lot of oversight. 

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Research

First and foremost, I did research. I looked at many hospital chargemasters, trying my best to put myself in the shoes of a patient. 

From observation, I learned that what makes the hospital price lists (often referred to as "chargemasters") a pain point for healthcare consumers is how the services are identified in the chargemasters. Many hospital price lists use abbreviated health terms, or strings of letters and numbers which don't make sense to the average patient. Very few hospital chargemasters identify their services by their full names and even when they do, the average person won't know what a "Serum Viscosity Quest" or "CT Tissue Ablation" are.

 

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center's chargemaster identifies each service by a sequence of abbreviated medical terms that an average patient may not be able to understand.

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Ideation

Next, I thought about what form would be the most optimal for the product. I asked myself the following questions:

  • What types of users will be interacting with this tool?
  • What are users trying to accomplish when they use Healthscope?
  • What form would allow this action to feel more natural?
  • How can I reassure users and make each stage of the process less stressful?

I settled on making Healthscope a browser extension, with a supplementary website.

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Demo

The browser extension is Healthscope's primary component, which scans and translates uploaded chargemasters. Healthcare consumers can view details of a particular service and compare prices at different healthcare facilities and providers on Healthscope's supplementary web portal.

This project is still in progress, however, the prototype may be viewed.

View and test a clickable prototype