Healthcare · Web app



Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation + Department of Psychiatry

5 months

Primary Responsibilities


Improve the workflow of psychiatry clinical providers, focusing on their task of data entry through a web dashboard


Patients admitted into the hospital often experience a broad array of mental health challenges, but a lot of them never receive the psychiatry intervention they need, until the episodes become too acute to be neglected.

MEND (Mental health Engagement, Navigation and Delivery) is a psychiatry service program that aims to proactively provide mental health support to patients.

Using patient data from EMR, an algorithm generates risk scores. Based on these, patients are triaged to different levels of providers (e.g. the more severe cases will be intervened by medical doctors).

The providers will also log their interventions through a dashboard, and these data will be used to further improve the algorithm to predict better risk scores. This part is the focus of my project.


Initially, when reviewing the logged data of MEND service results, 22% of the cases were never documented through the dashboard. This would lead to the loss of important data that are beneficial for improving the service and its algorithm.

Based on this, our team formed the following design challenge statement:

How might we reduce the burdens that MEND service providers experience during data entry so that we can capture a more complete picture of MEND services delivered?

Research Methodologies



Dr. Anderson (MD, middle) and Colleen (CRNP, right) were two of the MEND providers that I shadowed.


I followed MEND providers throughout the day to observe how they deliver the service.


I chose this method as the first activity because I assumed this will allow me to obtain the richest contextual information and help me understand the problem space fastest.

Journey mapping



I used notes from shadowing to create a journey map of MEND providers, looking at their interactions with each other, the documentation tools they're using, etc.


I chose this method to analyze the end-to-end user journey, with a goal to identify patterns, gaps, and opportunity areas.


Visual discourse analysis

A stack of the paper patient spreadsheets.


During shadowing, I discovered that MEND providers print and carry a patient spreadsheet every day. I collected these paper spreadsheets and analyzed what they write, mark, and draw on the paper.


I want to study how they parse and document information, which information are more important to them, and how this physical artifact co-exists with digital tools, including the dashboard.




I conducted semi-structured interviews in the MEND providers' offices, inquiring about about their experiences with the dashboard and asking them to complete tasks on the dashboard while observing their interactions.


I chose this method to analyze their interactions with the dashboard specifically

I asked Colleen, one of the MEND provider, to draw out how she would navigate through the old version of the dashboard when inputting data. Through this activity, I wanted to confirm my hypothesis that the locations of data input fields were arranged in an illogical, messy order.


Old dashboard interface

Re-designed dashboard interface


Under construction...

Please check back later!




© 2021 Mike Yilin Dong