Health Care Information Design – Preparing For Your Ultrasound Appointment
Case Study Brief: Recently, a friend arrived for an ultrasound appointment only to be turned away because she had eaten breakfast. For her scan, she should not have eaten 6 hours before the appointment. She had received incorrect instructions, was understandably upset and now had to wait several weeks for the next available appointment. The eating and drinking instructions leading up to a scan are confusing for patients and time-consuming for medical staff to repeatedly communicate. The goal of this project was to create information graphics that would clearly and efficiently provide ultrasound eating and drinking instructions.
Design Solution: The instructions are dependent on the area of the body to be scanned so the first information graphic is a silhouette with the area identified (1 in detail above). To provide a clear visual of the hours leading up to the appointment, a linear timeline is provided (2) with the hours counting down to the appointment. On the timeline, the appointment is visually linked to the body area to be scanned on the silhouette by using the same pattern and color (green). Each set of instructions includes an eating icon and a drinking icon (3) pointing to the position on the timeline where action should be taken. Each icon (see detail below) is defined in the visual key.
Conclusion: This was an internal research project to explore the potential of visual content. For a client, this project would include user testing to ensure the information is communicated in the most efficient way possible. This solution could also be applied to other scanning technologies such as MRI’s and CT scans and other medical procedures such as surgery.