CGI Federal

Health 2.0. Challenge Visualizes the Future of Online Healthcare

Winning the Challenge to Change Healthcare Online

Winning the Challenge to Change Healthcare Online

Answering to a nationwide Health 2.0. innovation challenge supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, TBG and CGI created a web and mobile application (app) that allows consumers to evaluate and compare hospitals and medical facilities. TBG’s mission was to design for the future of data driven consumer health information online. Not only did TBG’s design win the competition, but its forward thinking concepts led to continued collaboration with several U.S. government health agencies.

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Mobile-Friendly Design

Mobile-Friendly Design

TBG has always been an early innovator in mobile design and strategy. The Health 2.0. Challenge design was an elegant solution to some of the toughest usability and information architecture challenges, primarily, developing a simple, intuitive mobile site that makes it easy for users to perform complicated actions like multiple hospital comparisons, searches and filtering. TBG’s extensive mobile experience and 15+ years of work in the healthcare industry were put to good use in creating this award-winning design.

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Web 2.0. Usability

Web 2.0. Usability

Web 2.0. Usability in a nutshell means a website that people want to interact with. A site that takes into account how we move through content, prioritize information, and what actions we’d like to take afterwards. TBG and CGI’s hospital “compare” website used best practice Web 2.0. features to help users organize content on the page with show/hide buttons, find on the spot directions to a facility, and get updates on ER wait times. The Health 2.0. Challenge was designed to encourage this kind of creative problem solving and it’s what stood out to the judges about the TBG/CGI project.

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TBG & CGI Federal

Online health information is radically influencing the way consumers make decisions about their medical treatment. However, the abundance of information available doesn't necessarily help consumers understand how the quality of services at their hospital, nursing care facility or dialysis unit compares to other local and national facilities. Access to this information would empower consumers to make more informed choices about where they seek care, and improve accountability of healthcare facilities.

Health 2.0., with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, launched a nationwide competition, Developer’s Challenge for Consumer Apps to Visualize Health Care Quality Measures, to generate forward-thinking and innovative solutions to this clear need. Developers were tasked with creating highly usable Web and mobile designs that incorporated existing Medicare data reflecting how services in local communities compare to national standards and how services rank within communities themselves.

TBG (The Berndt Group) had already completed, and were in the midst of planning, several complex, high profile healthcare projects with their partner CGI Federal, a leading technology solutions provider for the U.S. government. The competition offered a chance to share some of the innovations developed during this work. However, as the incumbent team, TBG and CGI never thought they would actually win the Health 2.0. Challenge! To our surprise, we beat out other leading development firms and were awarded First Place, including a cash prize of $2,500, which we donated to the American Heart Association (AHA).

For the challenge, TBG and CGI created a Web and mobile-based hospital "compare" application (app) as part of an overall Healthcare Quality system. The hospital comparison app allows consumers to personalize their searches of the government's data and then evaluate hospitals based on the quality measures important to them including U.S. News & World Report rankings, doctor reputation, out-of-pocket costs, staff responsiveness and communication and more.

"The need for innovation in health IT has never been greater—for patients, physicians, hospitals, and insurers—to help all Americans make better, more informed choices. Innovation must occur faster and with more agility—something for which technology companies—like CGI—are famous. We are proud that our work on this challenge with TBG has been recognized by Health 2.0, an organization founded on the idea that patients can use new tools to guide their own care."

Cheryl Campbell

Senior Vice President, CGI

TBG and CGI’s application elegantly solved many of the inherent usability and design challenges of large database driven applications, mainly how to express a large volume of interrelated information in a visually appealing package that consumers want to use. The site had a clean and high contrast visual design with JavaScript Web 2.0.features that allowed users to prioritize content with show/hide buttons, interact with embedded Google maps, see side-by-side comparison views, and easily filter and refresh search results. The quality ratings and information about each facility and how they compare to local and national standards were visually represented in easy to read charts and graphs with intuitive icons. The mobile app also included a feature showing emergency room wait times, contact information, and driving directions.

Ultimately, what was most exciting for TBG and CGI about the Health 2.0. project was that this winning project would become a model and starting point for U.S. government agencies interested in utilizing large data resources to create consumer-friendly, easy-to-use online tools. Needless to say, the project was an enormous win for TBG and CGI and led to continued collaborations with government agencies in the healthcare sector.

  • trophy iconWinner: Health 2.0 Challenge
  • heart iconDonated $2,500 Prize to American Heart Association
  • star iconDeveloped Web & Mobile-based Hospital "Compare" App
  • award ribbon iconModel Government Agency Project
Web 2.0. Mobile Consumer Design

Web 2.0. Mobile Consumer Design

When it comes to making choices about healthcare, the more you know, the more confident you feel about your decision. Mobile devices are radically changing how and when consumers access health and medical information. While much of the healthcare industry was still catching up to mobile, TBG was an early innovator in developing high quality mobile-friendly sites. TBG understood that a tool like the hospital “compare” website would only be successful if the mobile version was quickly adopted by users. To accomplish this, the design would need to elegantly express complex sets of data that could be clearly understood in short information gathering sessions.

TBG and CGI’s mobile design for the Health 2.0. Challenge displayed data in easy to read charts and graphs with intuitive icons. In one glance, users could understand how a facility ranked within their local community and in relation to statewide and national ratings. The site used Web 2.0. features to encourage user interaction and engagement. Content was organized with JavaScript buttons that allowed users to show or hide content as they moved through the site, embedded Google maps allowed users to get directions to a facility or see others in the area, and an ER Wait Time feature gave real time updates on how long it would take to see a doctor. In addition, simple search filtering made it easy to adjust results and see side-by-side comparisons of each hospital.

Long before the current revolution of mobile website design through responsive templates and JavaScript, TBG and CGI’s Health 2.0. project was looking ahead to how mobile design challenges could be solved through smart integration of interactive features and intuitive design.

Smart Usability & Information Architecture

Smart Usability & Information Architecture

Complex data-driven Web apps come with inherent usability and information architecture challenges. How to take a vast amount of data and not only make it visually meaningful for the consumer in one glance, but also provide sophisticated search and filter capabilities? TBG and CGI’s app needed to provide a single interface that could visualize multiple sets of quality ratings, easily help users select and compare each facility, and allow multifaceted filtering and searching of the results.

TBG realized that the hospital compare tool needed essentially the same experience as a retail shopping website, where users could browse through various products, sort these by their needs and preferences, and make comparisons based on available information. Using best practices culled from former and current business-to-consumer projects, TBG was able to create a site that was comfortable and easy to use, and above all familiar to users.

Throughout the design, functional elements like buttons and filters are clearly differentiated, data labels are descriptive but not overly wordy, rankings are shown visually with shaded icons like those used on popular travel and restaurant sites, color coding and intuitive icons are used wherever possible to present multiple layers of information with the least visual clutter, and search results details like criteria and number of results help users track their filter selections.