A Tech Story
Custom Search When your Health Depends On It
NYU Langone, one of the nation’s premier medical centers based in New York City, provides award-winning patient care, unmatched leadership in academic instruction and world-renowned scientific discovery.
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In addition to working with the medical center’s internal IT department to employ Test-Driven Development (TDD) and other modern development practices which allows them to streamline and quicken launches and updates across many of their sites and internal platforms, the medical center had some very concrete objectives for the relaunch of their “Find a Doctor” site: Improve the ease with which patients can find the best care based on their needs in a way that aligns with strategies for pairing patients with the best clinician for their needs; Improve the efficiency with which appointments are managed for both patients and clinicians; This includes improving online tools that allow patients to book appointments, validating insurance, and reducing missed appointments through digital messaging; Create a robust and flexible software platform and training which will enable the digital group to quickly and reliably deliver new high-quality features in the future.
We assembled a cross-functional team with domain and technology expertise with over 30 years of combined experience (tech stack: PHP/Drupal, Java, and Solr search) Over the course of 4 months, we worked closely with the medical center team to: Design a complex search capability across 4,000 doctors, 200 specialties, and many thousands of symptoms and query possibilities; Mapping domain-specific terms, synonyms, sound-alike terms, typo tolerance; Advanced filtering which considers specialties, location, insurance accepted, languages, gender, and availability; A robust and intuitive Scheduling system which gets patients scheduling quickly and allows for gathering insurance and patient data securely; and an enhanced user experience.
We incorporated 45,000 synonymized terms across conditions, treatments, specialties and insurances, mapping over 500,000 terms and created robust filtering and type-ahead search. The intuitive interface has increased the time on site by over 60% and robust search features has driven a dramatic increase in online scheduling.
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