With the rising cost of assisted living services and healthcare, more families are choosing to take an active role in their loved one’s care – elder care in particular. Coordinating care means keeping track of medications, dietary restrictions, health conditions, doctor appointments, and at-home treatment plans. Considering how demanding those care routines can be, most families choose to enlist the help of professional caregivers.
In a typical month, a family can see upwards of 10 or 20 difference caregivers assigned to care for their loved one. In a typical month, a family can see upwards of 10 or 20 different caregivers assigned to care for their loved one. Caregiver assignments are managed by agencies, which have limited access to the home and are not responsible for personalizing care to the individual. This model obligates families to train every single caregiver that enters their home—a gap that ultimately affects the quality and continuity of care. CareTrainr is a first-of-its-kind, family-oriented care management and training solution.
Designed for people, not problems.
Our team took a human-centered design approach to developing this product. We researched the in-home healthcare industry and identified all users and touch points. We interviewed users to understand that problems that people, not institutions, face on a day-to-day basis. We used those problems as the launchpad for ideating solutions, and then we created prototypes to validate every single aspect of the product.
Interviews with families gave us clear insights into problems within the care management experience:
“I live four states away from my mother, so it’s impossible for me to train any caregiver.”
“Training caregivers means coordinating with the agency and spending an additional hour orienting them at the home.”
“I have to leave sticky notes on the fridge and calendar when changes in diet or medication take place.”
“Updating the care book is hard for me because I don’t have time.”
We prototyped solutions for over a year before taking CareTrainr to market. We believe in iterative design: the idea that validating small parts of the solution lead to more effective answers to the original problem. Receiving frequent feedback allowed us to create workflows that are simple yet effective. The result is a user experience that delivers value at every touchpoint.
Calendar & Scheduling
Doctor appointments, family visits, therapy appointments, and special events are challenging because they require coordination between families and caregivers. Sometimes the family may not have a direct line of communication with the caregiver so they must leave a sticky note, a physical calendar with notes, or pass the information to the agency to relay to the caregiver.
- Through interviews, we gathered an important insight: Families need a calendar, but they don’t want to maintain one. We proposed two calendar types: weekly routine and events. The weekly routine calendar is made up of core daily activities such as morning mobility, breakfast, exercises, lunch, etc. The events calendar is where one-off occurrences are listed, such as a doctor appointment or a family visit.
These two calendar types make it easy for caregivers to review a patient’s daily needs without having to navigate through a traditional weekly or monthly calendar.
Care notes are a common industry requirement of caregivers. The accuracy, frequency, and delivery method of the notes are different from family to family and agency to agency. Families may go without seeing care notes for days or weeks at a time depending on the requirements of the agency they employ.
- We set out to create a simple, easy-to-use care notes experience for caregivers. With Touch or Face ID enabled, logging in to the app happens in less than a second. A dedicated notes button is fixed at the bottom of the patient dashboard and allows the caregiver to create a note in seconds.
- During interviews, we heard from caregivers that some notes are more important than others. This is why our team added a an “urgent” flag to notes, so families can easily identify which notes bear more importance.
- Care notes send instantly, which means no more calls to the agency or chasing paper trails. Caregivers’ notes are accessible to the family as soon as they are published. This keeps families in the know.
- We learned that optimal continuity of care is achieved through shared knowledge, so we made notes available to all caregivers who look after a patient. Before beginning a shift, a caregiver can review notes from that morning or the day before. That way, they can adjust the care routine as necessary.
Training & Videos
Training videos give new or returning caregivers the guidance they need to give people’s loved ones the best possible care. From cooking to special equipment, care coordinators can show their caregivers how to navigate their loved one’s routine. Because a major pain point of care coordinators was training multiple caregivers, we created this feature so that only one training seminar is necessary to educate every caregiver that may provide service.
- Families wanted a series of short videos grouped by different parts of the home. We delivered just that: a training module that allows families to record one-minute videos.
- Training materials such as videos and photos entail privacy concerns. The app easily allows families to disable access to caregivers that may no longer be assigned to their loved one in seconds.