UX Forms has donated time and resources to build and run a new online tool to help people think about the treatments they may, or may not, wish when nearing the end of their life.
What is Advance Care Planning?
Most of us have no idea what medical decisions it would be wise to discuss with our loved ones and plan ahead for. This tool explains the kinds of decisions many people wish they had prepared for, and it gives you the various options to think about.
The Planning Ahead tool leads you, step by step, to think about your own values and the things that matter most to you in life (and in dying). It offers you a chance to think about the pros and cons of being cared for at home, or in hospital.
It was started by members of the public, then given to a team of doctors and nurses to add medical information. UX Forms volunteered its technical expertise and platform to implement and host the tool to turn it into reality. Now it’s inviting adults of any age, healthy or not, to use the website to help with their own Planning Ahead, and then let the team know what they think of the tool and how it could be improved.
Why UX Forms?
The Planning Ahead tool is, at the heart of it, a series of questions with supporting information. Each question sets out a scenario and invites the audience to consider their preference for how that could be handled.
But it’s the non-technical concerns that were the most important―trust and security. The team needed to trust the platform to treat people’s answers with the utmost integrity; to only collect the minimum amount of data needed to complete the journey, to not re-use the data collected, and to ensure that the little data that is collected would be disposed of swiftly and securely. UX Forms’ ISO 27001 certification, along with its ability to set data retention policies per-form, fitted the bill perfectly.
How did we do it?
The next step was to work through each page in the journey and write out the UI components, or widgets, for that page. Here’s a typical page (called a Section in UX Forms) along with its implementation in UX Forms.
You’ll notice that the implementation is extremely simple — we’re working at the UI component level. I.e. building up the Section in terms of paragraphs, headings and radio groups. An accompanying properties file contains the text to be displayed for each component — this means we can easily provide translations of the content in different languages to make the tool even more accessible to a wider audience.
Then, at the end of the journey, we wanted a simple way for people to be able to save the choices they made. They are displayed on the screen at the end, and we also made it so the page can be printed in a way that makes the choices clear and can be presented to your GP should you wish to formalise your wishes with them. But we also wanted a way to download a document which could be saved for later. UX Forms provides a service that can translate any form view into a PDF, which meant we were able to provide the same print view of the page as a downloadable document. Neat!
Finally, we wanted to capture some metrics about how much the tool was being used. UX Forms comes with its own built-in analytics dashboards which capture, amongst other things, the number of completed forms and which validation errors were encountered along the way. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the tool, users can go back and change their answers at any time so the form is never “finished”, and there is no wrong answer to any of the questions so there aren’t any validation errors to capture. UX Forms’ flexibility came in to play again here, as it doesn’t force any single solution on the form author. We were able to quickly and easily add in a third-party analytics tool which could capture user counts, drop-offs and goal conversions (e.g. how many people choose to download their answers at the end of the journey) on our behalf.
All told, it took our team just a couple of days to fully implement this brand-new tool and make it production-ready.
Don’t just take our word for it
On the surface, to most of us, this is simply a questionnaire. To the health care professionals who have collaborated on this service, this has been described as one of the most exciting and important projects of their career that is desperately needed to support patient voices being heard. Equal Experts and UX Forms have gained trust and made a big name for ourselves with some very senior healthcare officials — a reputation that I hope we find opportunity to build upon.
―Sarah Jones, initiator of the project and Delivery Lead at Equal Experts
Release announcement from Hospice UK: https://www.hospiceuk.org/latest-from-hospice-uk/new-planning-ahead-tool-launched
The tool: https://advancecareplanning.org.uk