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Making Virtual Doctor Visits (Even) Less Painful

Nobody loves going to the doctor. Even virtual “online” appointments can be painful, especially if the provider’s web site isn’t optimized for patients. Massachusetts General Hospital wanted to improve its telehealth services to make it easier for patients to navigate its online system. They hired Mad*Pow to design and develop a fully functional web site that would be easy to use, no matter how technophobic the patient.

Project Highlights:

  • Built a site that appealed to everyone from tech-savvy teens to tech-wary seniors
  • Identified design priorities in a 1-day streamlined process
  • Quickly adopted and learned a new CMS to adhere to client’s all-Windows environment

Challenge: Better Online Guidance for Patients

Mass General patients were relatively pleased with the doctors’ care they received through the hospital’s telehealth portal. But navigating that portal to the point of actually seeing the doctor wasn’t a smooth process. Information on the site was hard to find, and support for technical problems with the site was almost non-existent.

Solution: Designing a Direction

A big part of our job was deciding on a design direction for the new site. To streamline a process that can take up to several weeks, we conducted a one-day intensive Design Studio with key client contacts to prioritize design concepts. During that session, Mad*Pow and the client worked together to find adjectives that would best describe the new site. Should it be serious or whimsical? Informative or entertaining? Illustrative or realistic? By the end of the day, we guided all client stakeholders into alignment on the look, feel and voice of the new site.

New Technologies

One of the biggest challenges during this project was adhering to the client’s all-Windows environment. The trusted content management systems (CMS) we typically use wouldn’t work. So, we quickly adopted and learned a brand new CMS: Umbraco. The team dove head-first into the new CMS and quickly learned to develop with it.

Results: Visually Appealing & Easy to Use

Mad*Pow delivered a fully functional web site to Mass General. The site is now easier to use for all types of patients, no matter what their comfort level is with online technologies. It clearly presents all the information patients need to make those online doctor visits less painful. Next, the client plans to incorporate a patient registration process into the site.

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Making Virtual Doctor Visits (Even) Less Painful


MGH Telehealth
Chris Oberg Senior Project Manager
Jon Tibbetts Developer
Morgan St. Laurent VP, Visual Experience Design   Contact Morgan
Tanya Scales Creative Technologist   Contact Tanya

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