Human-centered design for patients & clinicians

UCB partnered with THRIVE to innovate and enhance a seemingly mundane yet crucial aspect of healthcare—the patient enrollment and benefits verification form. This approach improved the user experience and made it easier for physicians to prescribe its arthritis biologic CIMZIA (certolizumab pegol). 

We improved the form’s usability by applying human factors and evidence-based information design, streamlining the content from 93 to 65 fields, increasing efficiency, and achieving higher rates of correct data entry for patient onboarding. With a clearly defined purpose, intuitive directional cues, and a clear information hierarchy, the next-generation patient enrollment and benefits verification form improves administrative efficiency, increases medical practice revenue, and maximizes patient satisfaction—elevating an overlooked touchpoint in the CIMZIA brand experience and making the medication easier for physicians to prescribe. 

Design for Preference

UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, is deeply committed to improving the lives of people with severe neurological and autoimmune conditions such as Epilepsy, Psoriasis, and Arthritis and sought to apply its patient-first approach to the physician experience. It understood that to drive preference for its biological medication, CIMZIA, which treats several chronic inflammatory conditions, it needed to take a holistic look at the brands’ touchpoints to deliver a compelling, distinct, and relevant physician experience.

Recognizing the Need for Change

UCB identified a critical issue in the prescription process with its CIMplicity patient enrollment and benefits verification forms that were more than a minor inconvenience—it was a significant barrier to promptly placing their patients on CIMZIA. When filled, the problematic forms, essential for prescribing medication, were riddled with user errors and missing information, causing frustration among prescribing physicians and insurance payors delaying treatment. This recognition of a pressing problem paved the way for a step change in CIMZIA’s information design and usability.

Walk in Your Users Shoes

We kicked off with an experience design audit of seventeen of CIMZIA’s most relevant competitors to familiarize ourselves with benefits verification, enrollment, and specialty pharmacy forms to establish a performance baseline and discern the strengths and weaknesses of existing solutions and the unmet user needs. All the patient enrollment and benefits verification forms analyzed focused on obtaining as much information as possible in the least amount of space, resulting in poor visual and information design, negatively impacting readability, legibility, and wayfinding. 

Several key themes emerged from the study: existing patient intake forms had no declared purpose, making it difficult for users to understand how the form was beneficial and related to them. An overwhelming amount of complex information on too many pages, poor information design, poor legibility, inadequate field sizing, a lack of discernable hierarchy, and navigational issues all contributed to a high cognitive load for end users.

Solve the Human Problem

To be intentional in our information design process, we made our insights actionable, authoring four experience design principles to guide concept development.

By focusing the design team’s efforts on delivering these principles, we created a series of preliminary wireframe configurations to garner early directional feedback from UCB stakeholders and focus our instructional design on a vertical, one-column format as the way forward. 

Co-Design with Clinicians and Administrators

As active participants in the design process, we involved twelve clinicians, practice nurses, and administrators from three specialties: rheumatology, gastroenterology, and dermatology. We engaged them twice during the information design process, examining their established workflows, preferences, and grievances concerning the current patient enrollment and benefits verification forms and later in the process to validate our concepts. The co-design process led us to a simplified information architecture broken down into five main data clusters for presenting information for all the sections and content on the form: Patient, Prescriber, Clinical/History, Prescription, and Services Requested. 

Evaluate in Context and Iterate

We developed multiple iterations of the CIMplicity patient intake form through agile design and prototyping, rigorously testing with clinicians and other stakeholders throughout. These evaluations aimed to discern preferences concerning form orientation, content organization, and the visual design of the form. We also involved stakeholders in practical assessments, where they were asked to print, complete, and fax the forms. This hands-on testing allowed us to closely examine the clarity of information, the logical flow of content, adequate space for handwritten input, and the forms’ fax compatibility. This user-centric approach allowed us to tailor the redesign to meet actual needs, enhancing the forms’ functionality and usability and elevating the prescribing experience for both clinician and patient.

A Prescription for Success

The collaboration between UCB and THRIVE resulted in a redesigned patient enrollment and benefits verification form that transformed a frequent, high-touch but neglected touchpoint for clinicians, nurses, and administrators into an efficient experience that positively impacts brand reputation and encourages prescribing clinicians and administrators to opt for CIMZIA over competing drugs. 

Let’s craft better healthcare experiences together by implementing our user-centered information design process.

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