Operation Assistant

An application to help educate, prepare and optimize health for patients undergoing surgery while providing support to Canada’s health care system.

The Problem

A Broken System

Canadian hospitals were at full working capacity prior to the pandemic.

Covid-19 exposed the need for health care reform, improvement in bed flow and delivery of health care.

Surgery Backlog

Surgeries started to back up as elective cases were cancelled to accommodate the mass surplus of patients in the hospital.

In February, Doctors Manitoba estimated the backlog for diagnostic and surgical procedures was over 160,000 cases.


A survey by the Canadian Medical Association found 53% of doctors were reporting burn out in 2021 compared to 30% in 2017.

Another survey released by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) to 5,200 mostly Ontario nurses showed more then 75% classified as burnt out.

Poor Digital Integration

Doctors documentation, pharmacy data, vaccination status may not communicate with hospital software and so access to relevant patient data can be time consuming and burdensome.

Being part of the Solution

Patient Education

High-quality patient education is valuable to the patient as well as the healthcare system. Due to the above problems in healthcare today, it is arguably more important now than ever that patients are well-informed about their health and have access to reliable health information. Educating patients on their surgery, potential complications, and how to prevent them may lead to increased compliance, patient satisfaction and decreased incidence of complications. Increased patient knowledge of what to expect before and after surgery could help alleviate misinformation and stress, and potentially expedite discharge. 

Patient Optimization

By optimizing a patients health prior to surgery through nutrition and lifestyle changes, a patient is less likely to have complication reducing burden on the health care system and aid bed flow. A app called myOp claims to have reduced complication rates by up to 50% by optimizing patient health.

Patient Access & Reminders

Access to a patient calendar with all related surgery appointment dates and any instructions will help patients remain organized and prepared. Hypothetically this will help efficiency within the health care system, and aid administrative duties.

Methods to Discovery

- Questionnaires to Operating Room Nurses

- Questionnaires to Post-Operative Nurses

- Interviews with friends/family who previously had surgery

- Discussions with Anesthetists and Surgeons

- Secondary Research


- For non urgent, elective surgery patients, a lot of time passed (>6 months – 1 year) between the booking of their surgery and their surgery date.

- Information is difficult to retain at times of stress and uncertainty.

- Memory for medical information is often poor or inadequate.

- Spoken information should be supported with written or visual material.

- It is common for patients to turn to Dr. Google for medical information.

- Beneficial to have all patient information in one place.

Proof of Concept

- 19/20 survey participants about proposed concept agreed they would be interested in an app that helped facilitate surgery education.

- The most common post-operative complication world-wide is infection.

- Around 9 million patients world-wide develop post-operative infections per year (International Surgical Outcomes Study Group)

User Journey

Journey Map


Through the empathize and define phase I came up with a website applicaton that had 3 objectives.


Educate users on their upcoming surgery.

Result: Patients will be able to describe their surgery, complications associated with it, and what to expect after surgery.


Optimize patients health prior to surgery

Result: Decrease length of hospital stay after surgery


Access to evidence-based, physician approved information

Result: To allow for more ownership of health.


Quick wireframing and prototyping are very valuable in the process of creation. I can test sooner!

Evolving Dashboard of Operation Assistant

Accessiblity Design


Feature additions, changes in font, content and navigations all came from rigorous user testing.