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Helping Chronic Pain Patients and their Physicians Access Care

TAPMI is an innovative program that brings together five unique Toronto-based pain management services under one umbrella.

Challenge

The multi-institutional partnership needed help rethinking the design of the existing processes in order to provide improved access for both chronic pain patients and their primary physicians and a website where their services could be accessed and intake procedures could be standardized. The goal was to design a website which would help simplify the intake and triage process to ensure more efficient and accurate referrals for patients and TAPMI providers.

Solution

Along with our user-centered design process, we researched international programs innovating in the treatment and triage of chronic pain, and identified areas of opportunity for improvement. Our findings were compiled into a Design Evidence™ document and presentation with the star finding being a Patient Experience Map. Seeing the patient journey mapped out visually and sequentially revealed that during the patient’s longest wait times, the existing system was doing nothing for them.

The new website, which will continue to evolve and grow with the program, now provides TAPMI with a virtual home, establishing who they are and the services they provide, as well as accomplishing their primary objectives. They are now able to provide a centralized referral process with one referral form into all of the 5 pain services, and both patients and primary care providers can easily access information about chronic pain, treatment options, and how to access the TAPMI program.

Impact

We continue to use the user research, Experience Map, and design expertise to inform the content strategy and design of the website — which is set to roll out in phases as the program continues to develop.

I’ve started using the diagram to contextualize all the work the new team is currently doing — the programs we are developing fit in one or more of the “sections” along the patient journey, and it will help identify future areas for program growth.”

— Administrative Director, TAPMI