Helsedata.no: Making it easier for researchers to access health data
Norwegian health data is referred to as a gold mine for research and medical quality improvement. However, complicated regulations, many managers and cumbersome access processes make it time-consuming and difficult to access the health data.
What if we, by making a joint application process, could improve collaboration cross actors in the research sector?
Together with The Directorate for e-Health we created a gathering point for everyone who works with health data. The service provides a good overview of what data is available, what they can be used for and how to access it. This has changed the way the health research sector works together and created new arenas across organizations.
The value of design-led transformation
The Directorate for e-Health has as a social mission to create a simpler health system in Norway, and therefore initiated a project to make it easier for researchers to access health data.
Idean’s design framework emphasizes a user-centered, holistic approach with fast iterations and trials. With a multidisciplinary team of developers and testers from Capgemini, we were able to create a service that delivered on both user needs and experience, solved organizations’ challenges and handled technical constraints.
An extensive insights phase was crucial to uncover the challenges that needed to be addressed. Although the scope of the project was only a specific part of the application process, we chose to map the entire user journey and interactions with the actors.
“The design team has been a great support in my work. I really like the workshop methods you brought in to engage actors and stakeholders. Being able to showcase one’s thoughts in a visual way has led to increased understanding between end-users and case managers, and across the professional environments. There is a lot of change management in this, and it is very important.” – Elin Olsen Kallevik, Product Owner at helsedata.no
A need for guidance throughout the application process
By mapping the entire application process, from applicants exploring to receiving health data, we discovered that users needed a step-by-step guide describing the entire process with necessary contact points with all involved, not just healthdata.no.
Because of the complexity and number of actors the applicants must relate to, they often ended up in a loop where they were sent back and forth between several actors. We discovered that the root cause was ambiguity about the level of detail that the different actors needed, and that no one really took responsibility for the overall experience.
The application process consisted of difficult communication; No one takes overall responsibility and initiative to talk together. It's been a frustration.Researcher 1
By observing and talking to researchers, we gained insight into the challenges they faced in the process of accessing health data. This enabled us to understand how we could create the most value for the users. Most of the forms for the different registry managers asked for the same in a slightly different way, which led to a lot of duplication for the users.
An iterative approach
Through many rounds of prototyping, user testing and different versions of the design, we continuously refined the solution, so that we were constantly creating greater and greater value for researchers, the Directorate of e-health and registry managers.
It was crucial that the registers themselves wanted to use the new service, and to ensure this we chose to start with the four largest registry managers, who also had the most comprehensive forms. A lot of work went into defining one set of fields that covered the needs of the largest registry managers and at the same time reducing the number of fields to only what was absolutely necessary to process the application.
A holistic approach
We created an action catalog with ideas on how to meet users’ needs and ranked the ideas according to their importance. This gave us and the customer the opportunity to plan different phases in the project and to always have the users’ needs as a guideline.
To ensure a holistic and recognizable expression, we spent time developing the visual identity and creating a clear design system for helsedata.no. We defined guiding principles for language and appearance, changed the information architecture to suit the new needs of the site, and created new icon sets and illustrations.
Continuing the journey
The new application was thoroughly tested and successfully launched in January 2020, including 47 data registers, with good feedback from researchers and we continue the work of further developing the service experience in order to reach our goal of better health in Norway.
I enjoyed working with Idean because of the safe and open culture. The design team has been a great support in my work engaging stakeholders, and I don't think I could have wished for a better partner.Elin Olsen Kallevik — Product Owner at helsedata.noContact Team Oslo to learn more
Senior UX Designer
Daniel Greve Rose
Daniel Greve Rose has been part of the health data team for a long time. With previous experience as an accountant, a developer, and a consultant, Daniel has aquired the ability to combine business, technology and design to create innovative and holistic experiences. He loves to find new ways where technology can create value for both end users and organisations.