We’ve officially passed the “three weeks to go” mark, and while things are winding down for our team of fellows, they’re really ramping up for WellRooted. Things are moving at lightning speed around here. We have a website, beautifully designed online recipe cards, pilot partnerships to provide fully-prepared meals, and much more!
That said, we’re still grappling with some really big questions about WellRooted. In considering the challenge of these questions though, I’m reminded of a guiding principle from my pre-HFA work at Dance Exchange: “You know you’re asking the right questions when you need to bring other people into the conversation about the answers.”
To give you a sense of some of the work that’s been taking place, I thought I’d highlight some central questions we’ve been exploring and how our key stakeholders are helping us find the answers…
How do we create a fluid, low-barrier experience for visitors to our website?
Who’s helping us? To answer this question, we’re talking to usability experts at MedStar’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and, believe it or not, our parents! The usability team has helped us examine our website and ask meaningful questions about how the structures, designs, and language we’re using are or are not supporting a positive user experience. We then used these questions to survey our own parents as they clicked through the site! We chose our parents for easy access to a sample of people (albeit a small one) who fall within some of our target demographic ranges. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
How do we get patients aware of, excited about, and engaging with the service?
Who’s helping us? We’re learning that certified diabetes educators, medical assistants, and community health outreach managers are key to answering this question. And let’s not forget patients themselves! Thanks to our partners at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, we’ve started to answer these questions by engaging these two groups (provider and patients) at every step of the process. It’s the only way we’ve been able to discover which parts of the service will get patients excited and which parts will best support their health goals. This is also helping us identify some issues or barriers in our design, because the reactions of these stakeholders (verbal and non-verbal!) are critical to identifying areas for growth or re-design.
How do we create a strategy and structure for sustainability?
Who’s helping us? Though it’s been a long year, we’re not the experts in the chronic care or food delivery space—and frankly, we’re not trying to be. We are, however, experts in searching out that sweet spot where there’s an opportunity for chronic care and food delivery to intersect. But in order to better pave that intersection, we’re looking to the experts and we’re looking to pre-existing programs and infrastructures. Exciting conversations are continuing to evolve about ways that WellRooted might be woven into the care models of MedStar and the business models of rising players in the food delivery space.
Many of these questions are still in the process of being answered, and many more pop up each day. Stay tuned as we continue to develop WellRooted!