The Lehigh Valley Health Network heals, comforts, and cares for the communities of Eastern Pennsylvania. To realize its vision of providing superior care within its region, LVHN has to relate to each patient on an individual level, providing personalized services within the context of a vast organization.
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Applying concepts grounded in simplicity to help consumers navigate healthcare’s complexities.
With over 18,000 employees, 95 clinical specialties, eight campuses, dozens of facilities, and expansive clinical research and education, the complexities of LVHN’s digital platform threatened to overwhelm the needs of its patients.
The new LVHN.org focuses on the needs of individual patients and simplifies the basic experience of finding critical information. By layering the intricacies of healthcare over this base, each user journey is customized to their individual needs and interests.
After one month of the site being live, the number of people showing intent to make an appointment (“click to call”) is double the number for the entire FY19 currently being reported.
A website built on an organization’s “Essential Truths” is a website built to last.
Every organization has a foundation that will remain immutable over time. In the case of LVHN, it is that they will always have facilities where providers render services to patients. This physical infrastructure dedicated to caring for patients will remain true for LVHN for decades, regardless of advances in technology, like “Video Visits”. When we dug into the data of how the old LVHN.org was being used, we found correspondence to how consumers used the site: the vast majority of site traffic was concentrated in areas related to finding a doctor, a location, or a service. Despite an information architecture that gave nearly equal weight to things like detailed information about conditions, wellness resources, and information about LVHN’s research and education initiatives, site visitors worked around most of the content provided to find what they needed: in-person healthcare.
From this starting point, we drastically simplified the sites overarching information architecture and focused it on Doctors, Locations, and Services.
Knowing that most visitors landed deep in the site after a search rather than going through the home page, we designed every page to serve as a potential landing page, consolidating vital information related to the expressed interest of the user.
Instead of expecting a potential patient to traverse the website from section to section, we brought all the information straight to the patient, wherever they happened to be.
Every foundational component – doctor profile, practice information, location detail, or overview of a service – layers in the other components right where the user lands. If the starting point is a service page about cancer surgery, the doctors who provide that service and the locations the service is offered are front and center. If instead, the user lands on a health center down the road from their home, the doctors who work there and the services provided are right there, too. And once the user gets to a list of doctors, all of the essential information and the ability to make an appointment can be accessed immediately.
By focusing on the informational needs of the end user instead of organizational priorities and structures, we actually made it easier for LVHN to meet its mission.
The principles of simplicity and meeting the needs of the end user extend to every interface design
The Find a Doctor tool allows visitors to enter any term into a single search box – be it a condition, a service, a location, or a doctor’s name – and get a result, rather than overwhelming with multiple options and filters right off the bat. Subtle personalization reorders search results to bring up suggestions closer to a user’s location (when it’s known). Data-informed hierarchical layering highlights the information most likely to be needed while still providing access to greater detail.
Our engineering team also made it incredibly fast, with a Site Speed index of just 1.6 seconds, in spite of the complex data structures driving the site.
Creating the perception of simplicity required careful planning, with our design and technical leads in constant communication. The underlying content structures and relationships, taxonomies, and integrations with third-party systems all work behind the scenes to create a user experience that reinforces the brand promise of LVHN: superior care within your own community.
LVHN.org’s redesign was a team effort between ThinkShout and LVHN. It involved 20 designers, developers, and project managers on our end interacting with dozens of stakeholders and decision-makers at LVHN over the course of two years. In the end, we launched a site that stayed true to the initial vision of creating an intuitive website that focused on the needs of patients.
But the launch is just the start. We continue to work with LVHN’s team to design tests against daily human interactions to continue to improve the online experience and ensure that it lives up to the world-class care patients receive from the Lehigh Valley Health Network.