Developing CAR T-cell therapy, out-patient educational materials for Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
CLIENT Northwestern Memorial Hospital
PROJECT CAR T-cell Therapy Educational Materials
ROLE Identified user group and needs, led and synthesized user interviews
Northwestern Memorial Hospital's CAR T-cell therapy program is in the process of transitioning the therapy program from in-patient to out-patient. As a result of this, the caretaker has increased responsibility and therefore needs more in-depth education on their new role.
My team developed three new educational materials for caregivers as well as an updated workflow for the out-patient therapy for use by the CAR T program's team.
Interviewing Users to Develop Insights
By talking with 2 caretakers as well as the current Northwestern hospital staff responsible for educating the caregivers, we found that the majority of caregivers are older adults who are close family members of the patient. In most cases, this is their spouse or an adult child. While this individual has usually been exposed to a caregiver role in cancer treatment before, they normally have limited experience with actually providing medical care, a skill that has great emphasis in the outpatient setting. If treatment is given in an outpatient setting, these caregivers have to be with the patient for 24 hours a day for a minimum of 2 weeks post-infusion and continuously be monitoring for any adverse experiences. After our interviews, we gained some really valuable insights into the responsibilities they had, the process of preparing for treatment, and the emotional toll these situations can take on the patients and their family members.
These insights were:
The transition to outpatient increases the importance of the caretaker role to a brand new degree. Now the caretaker is essentially acting as a resident nurse.
It is important to cater the education to the different learning styles that everyone may have.
There needs to be a way to track or assess whether the caretaker is ready to undertake the role.
In order to gain feedback on our brainstormed ideas, we utilized storyboards and an interactive timeline to learn from our users. The feedback we heard led us iterate on our ideas and to our final proposals.
Final Deliverables and Presentation
After developing our insights, we wanted to create tangible prototypes to hand off to our client. In our final proposal, we recommended the following items:
A journal to aid the caretaker in monitoring their patient for adverse reactions following the transfusion.
A checklist that can be used to assess and track the education process of both the caregivers and the patients.
A set of videos that the caretakers can use to learn and review important information.
An updated operation workflow to illustrate where the different educational sessions and touchpoints would occur within the larger picture.