Critical Findings Workflow

DocPanel is the world’s first radiology marketplace, connecting patients and healthcare providers to a network of radiologists who provide radiology reading services on-demand.

A knee fracture reported as a critical finding

I was responsible for the design solution of DocPanel’s new critical findings workflow. I collaborated with the COO and operations team to understand the pain points. I was responsible for conducting user research with our clients and radiologists. I led the user testing for this feature in Beta and UAT before the product release.

Radiologists often come across critical findings (fractures, tumors, traumatic injuries) while reading cases, but they don’t have a direct way of notifying the client or patient of their finding.

The product goal was to introduce a streamlined workflow for radiologists to report and clients to track critical finding cases. Additionally, we wanted to build a channel of communication between the clients and radiologists to reduce DocPanel’s intereference in the process.

The business goal was to reduce the time the operations team spent on coordinating the communication of a critical finding and avoiding delays in communicating urgent information.

User Research
Critical findings were communicated to a client via an email notification when a radiologist published a report on the platform.

Interviewing clients indicated that the emails were inadequate for instances where the patient needed to immediately visit the ER. 

The emails did not suggest the type of finding or the urgency. To know that information, the client had to log in to the platform, download the report, read it and gain contextual knowledge about the case.

Old email sent to clients when a report with critical finding was published.

The clients requested for -
  • A text and email notification when critical findings are published
  • More contextual information in the notification (type of finding, level of urgency)
  • An option to give instructions to the radiologist before they publish a report

The radiologists requested to have - 
  • A designated critical finding contact at each client’s facility who can be responsible for the communication
  • A way to be notified when a critical finding has been communicated to the patient/ referring provider

Target Audience
Clients that need to track cases with critical findings (approximately 80 cases per week) and radiologists that publish those cases.

There was a clear pain point that was not being addressed in our platform - the need for a customized workflow to report and track critical findings. Interviewing a variety of clients ranging from hospitals to small imaging centers, we realized that each facility follows different protocols. Additionally, the operations team wanted minimum intervention in the process of resolving such tickets.

Redesigned Workflow
The redesign included multiple new features for both clients and radiologists. We added a pop-up for radiologists to select the urgency level, type of finding, write notes and we displayed contact information with customized instructions from each client.

Redesigned proposed workflow

The workflow required us to rewrite the notifications and trigger different notifications depending on the selections made by the radiologist. This highly customizable module helped reduce our team’s intervention and streamlined the communication between the two stakeholders.

Key features for radiologists

  • Categorize critical findings into 3 buckets for the radiologist (Emergent, Urgent and Non-Urgent Finding)
  • Display a list of findings to choose from 
  • An “Add Notes” section to give more context to the finding
  • Display contact information to the radiologist before they publish a case so they can contact the right person

Key features for clients - 

  • Enable clients to add critical finding contacts in their settings
  • Allow clients to add customized instructions to the reading radiologist
  • Show status of critical findings (pending and resolved) to differentiate which cases need intervention
  • A rewrite of the notification content that included the type of finding, notes from the radiologist and instructions on next steps
  • A button to resolve the critical finding in the email notification

There was a significant reduction in the average time taken to resolve a critical finding case (down from 8 days to 2 days). The feature to add customized instructions was well received. 

The option to select the level of urgency was helpful, but the third choice “Non-Urgent Finding” was confusing to the clients and radiologists. We decided to remove this option after hearing the feedback. 

The next version of the module will include a way for radiologists to call referring providers on the DocPanel platform, currently they use their personal phone number to communicate.