Norwegian Directorate of Heath

In a project to develop a new online solution for all Norwegian hospitals, we used the Top Tasks approach. The results from top task survey were unambiguous. We discovered the most important questions our users needed us to answer was: “What happens before, during and after treatment?”
This gave us a foundation on which to develop the new concept. Secondly (and just as important), we were given a well-proofed argument – a tool to cut through various opinions. As the person responsible for the concept, I found that very effective. We no longer believe something about our users’ needs, we know.

Focusing on the top tasks is not a capitulation to the users at the expense of what is important for the business. Why should we care about the fact that patients, families and primary health care want information about what happens before, during and after treatment? Altruism? Yes, maybe. But I think the key to gaining acceptance for focusing on user needs, is building a business case around those needs. In our case we can point to the studies showing that a well-informed patient is less costly to treat than patients without this knowledge.
Voila! We now have the business case, and the web is no longer a nice-to-have add on to the core activity at the hospitals, it has become part of the core business, namely a part of the treatment.

Eirik Hafver Rønjum, Digital strategist @ Norwegian Directorate of Heath