Imagine a situation in which a patient is laying on the operating table and the surgeon suddenly needs a replacement instrument.
The Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis initially solved this problem by providing operating room assistants with walkie-talkies which they used to place orders at the logistics department. The people working at the logistics department then picked the orders up and brought them to a sterile space next to the operating room, ready for the operating assistant to be picked up.
This solution had some ground rules that made it difficult to communicate such as “you can only speak once per order so that orders don’t mix”. It was acceptable for a period but also showed some technical issues. The tech in operating rooms advanced and sometimes interrupted with the walkie-talkie signal. It was also hard to keep track of the stock in the logistics department. In a situation where people’s lives could be at stake, this just wasn’t acceptable.
We were asked to come up with a solution which led to the creation of App to Order. The research part started with conducting ideation sessions with operating assistants and logistics employees. Their input was used to draw out the first sketches which we then prototyped and tested.
Our learnings from the research part showed us that operating rooms expected a search engine like user interface on which they could look up the hundreds of different instruments. By incorporating their catalog in the software, we were able to assist the user in selecting the right instrument for the right purpose. Once the operating assistant found the right instrument the order would be placed which initiated a notification for the logistics employee.
The logistics employees were provided with a smartphone running a native web-application which enabled them to accept the order and start the delivery process. It also featured additional information such as location, stock and even a messaging service.