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Patient XD

Improving the patient experience in Emergency Departments across Alberta.

The Problem

Patients in Alberta face various barriers when they access Emergency Departments – one of the biggest barriers influencing their experience: communication and a lack of information.

The Solution

Develop communication tools that improve both patient and staff experience, including a map of the Emergency Department as a wayfinding tool and a process map as a “what to expect” tool.


An online provincial survey collected data from 25,915 participants about their most recent Emergency Department experience, and indicated that communication with nurses and doctors has the largest effect on patient’s experience.

User research included two workshops with patients and staff, on-site observations, and interviews with on-site staff.

Workshop 1

To gain a clear understanding of the patient experience in Emergency Departments, I designed an initial journey map that was used in a workshop with patients and staff to map the process, identify barriers in communication, and express emotions related to their experience.

Workshop 2

The second workshop included only patients, where we asked them to share what information is needed to improve their experience along touchpoints in their journey. We also asked patients to explore ideas for improvement in the process through rapidly prototyping solutions.

On-site Observation & Staff Interviews

I spent 5 hours in an Emergency Department to observe patient flow, communication streams, interactions, and information seeking behaviours to observe users’ behaviours as they move through the service.

I also conducted individual interviews with on-site staff to gather information on the geographical layout of the Emergency Department.

Wayfinding Map

I designed a wayfinding map to assist patients and staff in navigating a newly renovated Emergency Department.


Alberta Health Services


User Research, Ideation, Service Mapping, Design


Illustrator, Photoshop