Procedures Consult – Immersive experience in rich content

Peter JonesInformation Ecology, Innovation

Nothing but medical procedures. No tagging, no RSS feeds, no social networking. (Not yet anyway.) The innovation was in discovering exactly what was required for the intensive education of doctors in residency programs, delivering these capabilities and minimizing all other distractions. Here the user experience is in the transparent immersion in the details of anatomy, positioning, approach and entry points, techniques, and simulations of all the internal parts you never could see even with live patients.
Elsevier released ProceduresConsult this month, to institutional subscribers. This e-learning service provides animated and acted video and text details for common internal medicine procedures, so you can learn to do arthrocentesis at home. (Hopefully, only if you are in a residency program). Medical residents in internal medicine (and soon Orthopedics and Anethseia will be able to locate detailed interactive procedures education with extraordinary video produced by Harvard’s Dr. Todd Thomsen.


Both 320 (on-page) and 640 (video player) videos are provided for every procedure. Text is shown in two full-scrollable pages, Quick Review and Full Details. Navigation was based on how residents typically work with one procedure at a time – while you can search, browse and jump around, the nav model focuses attention within the procedure and limits the opportunity to link away from the page.

We started on this service from nearly scratch 10 months ago, and leveraged an existing platform (based on Elsevier’s Nursing Skills product) to deliver the testing and tracking capabilities rapidly. The interaction design was totally drawn from user research, from multiple interactions with physicians and residency program staff. The content design was generated in collaborative design with the product manager (the indefatigable Rolla Couchman), Dr. Thomsen, and the product and editorial team. We conducted multiple onsite user research sessions, evaluating the site structure and navigation, visual and interaction design, content layout, video interaction, and administrative tools in a series of iterations and increasingly-defined prototypes. Jez Alder of Elsevier produced the visual design, over multiple iterations. Look for navigation and content enhancements soon.