Gathering an open, global dataset for healthcare data is something that healthsites.io is passionate about. Deciding how and what to gather for such a global dataset is a challenge. There are many stakeholders and many aspects of a given facility that could be collected. Healthsites is embarking on this with a user centered design approach. Our goal is to build a platform that collates data that is relevant to the questions that healthcare facility users need answered. In this article we concentrate on Human Centered Design and how it will help us to build a platform that meets the needs of the people using it.
We want you to share user stories.
A Human Centered Design approach to design drives the requirements and functionality of a platform based on the direct needs expressed by its users. We can express these needs in simple sentences that share a common structure :
Let’s look at some tangible examples, one from chatting with an expectant mother and one from a conversation with a civil servant working for a health ministry:
Collating these stories from users of the platform for different persona’s in the healthcare environment provides us with an understanding of what problems need to be solved and what data are needed to solve them.
When we deconstruct user stories, we can understand what kind of information is needed to support the story. Taking our examples above we can see:
|Pregnant mom||Emergency care||plan for potential complications during childbirth|
|Pregnant mom||know where the nearest birthing center is||plan for the birth of my child|
|Ministry of Health data administrator||how long it takes citizens to get to health facilities||optimize access to health care|
|Ministry of Health data administrator||know the geographic coordinates of health facilities||perform a spatial analysis|
|PATH health data administrator||know where the operational clinics are||plan a vaccination rollout campaign|
In 2018 the Healthsites project decided to switch to a data model built almost entirely upon the OpenStreetMap.org (OSM) platform. As well as leveraging the power of the world’s most amazing open data project, this approach also introduces constraints in the design of our platform and how we can mobilise data to meet the needs of our users that emerge through their stories. The constraints are the normative guidelines that the OSM project places on the capture of data for any feature (healthcare or otherwise). For example, it is difficult to introduce new concepts on the platform which is shy of ‘concept proliferation’, and considerable effort needs to be made to understand the existing concepts within the OSM tagging system. So, to meet the needs of people interested in healthcare data, we need to ‘map’ concepts. Taking the ‘what’ column from the above table, we can identify which attributes in the Healthsites schema are the most important to focus on.
The user stories above tell us the following baseline health facility attributes are important:
|1||amenity||clinic, doctors, hospital, dentist, pharmacy||For describing useful and important facilities for visitors and residents|
|2||healthcare||doctor, pharmacy, hospital, clinic, dentist, physiotherapist, alternative, laboratory, optometrist, rehabilitation, blood_donation, birthing_center||A key to tag all places that provide healthcare (are part of the healthcare sector)|
|3||healthcare:speciality||biology, blood_check, clinical_pathology, diagnostic_radiology, medical_physics, medical_engineering, radiology||A key to detail the special services provided by a healthcare facility. To be used in conjunction with the ‘healthcare=*’ tag. For example ‘healthcare=laboratory’, and ‘healthcare:speciality=blood_check’|
|9||operational_status||operational, non_operational, unknown||Used to document an observation of the current functional status of a mapped feature|
|14||healthcare:equipment||ultrasound, mri, x_ray, dialysis, operating_theater, laboratory, imaging_equipment, intensive_care_unit, emergency_department||Indicates what type of speciality medical equipment is available at the health facility|
|17||emergency||yes, no||This key describes various emergency services|
In this context stakeholders in the health cluster can define open data policies that support these user stories and improve base line health facility data.
In a three day workshop ‘ Developing a Strategic Agenda around Outbreak and Humanitarian Data Collection and Analytics’ held at the Wellcome Trust between 20-22 March 2019 the following recommendations were established:
You can read more about the workshops findings here A joint way forward in developing tools, methods, training and dissemination with a consortium of global partners
The COVID-19 pandemic is generating new user stories. These need to be understood and communicated.
As both TB and COVID-19 share similar clinical presentation (cough, fever, shortness of breath etc.) and are transmitted through respiratory droplets and aerosols, a combined strategy needs to be applied. This would utilise resources effectively while providing both short term and long term benefits. - Impact of COVID-19 intervention on TB testing in South Africa.