Nursing Home Safety Reporting System

This project is a safety incident reporting system for nursing home employees.  It was designed for a Human-Centered Design (HCD) class, Fall 2019.

Role: UX Designer   |  Timeline: 8 weeks


Product Description & Design Considerations


OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration) was created in 1970 to make sure that working conditions are safe and healthy for all people. Reporting was a way to establish and enforce standardization. This application is a nursing home incident reporting system for administrators. Incident reporting and tracking systems help to capture a wide-range of safety and work-related incidents such as injuries, illness, near misses, and property damage. 

Many organizations today still use paper forms to record and track incidents creating an additional hurdle to existing barriers to self-reporting. The design brief included designing a web-based system that could make reporting easier in addition to helping nurses and adminstrators quickly see the health of the work environment and the effect of incidents on the management of day-to-day operations. 

The system design is optimized for desktop in an office-setting. A few of the interaction requirements included the following:

  • Create and submit new reports
  • Review and edit reports in-progress
  • Append case documentation
  • Dashboard analytics

Secondary Research

I conducted secondary research to gain better understanding about nursing home care, how incidents are reported, what types of injuries and events are reportable, how OSHA defines a reportable event and more. Given the design requirements, I decided to tackle this phase by writing down a list of questions as a base to explore both the topic and best practices for dashboard and reporting system design. Here are a few:

  • What is OSHA?
  • What is considered an reportable incident?
  • How are incidents typically reported?
  • What are the challenges in reporting incidents?
  • What types of injuries are most common?
  • What is worker's compensation?
  • Are there any legal aspects to consider with record-keeping and reporting?
  • What are the design best practices for dashboard design and data visualization?
  • What design precedents exist?

View the full secondary research report here.

Concept Maps

I created three concept maps to understand the following: a) What steps administrators would follow to review and submit reports, b) what information types might need to be tracked and prioritized and c) get a better understanding of what makes an incident reportable.

concept map
concept map
concept map

Task Flows

Informed by the concept maps, task flows were created in order to understand key activities, interactions, and decision points. Questions that came up included but were not limited to:

  • How could the system be designed to maximize efficiency in relation to day-to-day activities and goals?
  • Is worker's compensation a condition of an OSHA reportable incident? Does one need to be reported prior to the other?
  • How would the reporting system be integrated into other systems such as human resources?
  • Would incidents and cases be immediately submitted to OSHA? If not, what is the submission process for OSHA and Worker’s Compensation forms?
  • How might the system be designed to deliver insight without complexity?
reporting system task flow

A diagram to map out the potential task flow of associating a worker’s compensation form to an incident. View more task flows here.

Design Assumptions

To help frame my next steps and provide greater clarity of potential interactions while also meeting design requirements, I decided to come up with a list of design assumptions based on secondary research, concept mapping, and a few iterations of task flows.

  • The nursing home has more than one administrator
  • The system is integrated with a human resources management system (HRMS)
  • Since OSHA no longer allows for electronic submission of documents, all reports would need to be downloaded and then resubmitted manually through OSHA.


Several iterations of sitemaps were created while processing the content types and relationships to define the information structure and what is presented in each section. Below is the final version.

reporting system sitemap


Sketching helped to give form to the content relationships, potential interactions, and overall flow. Using a 1440px screen size provided as a base within Sketch, I explored different ways to discover how content could be displayed and structured. A particular focus was on form design and dashboard anayltics. A few more questions came to mind as I continued to understand and process the content and possible interactions while sketching:

  • How might forms be designed in a way that makes them more pleasurable?
  • How might forms be designed to minimize the burden of a long form?
  • At what points could the system create more efficiency through and with other integrated systems?
  • What types of vizualizations would be meet the goals of different administrators?
  • How can the design be structured to maximize efficiency and reduce uneeded complexity?
reporting system design sketches


High-fidelity wireframes offered a more detailed view of the design and greater understanding of flow. Based on some of the questions and concerns I realized during sketching, as well as design assumptions, I identified the following goals:

  • Keep structure as simple as possible
  • Surface information and interactions as much as possible 
  • Reduce information overload, especially with the dashboard design
  • Assist users to complete tasks
  • Provide information to confirm system processes

Information-at-a-glance is critical as well as efficiency in the reporting, reviewing, editing and submission of incidents and cases.  Each iteration was an attempt to refine how the overall structure of the system could help to meet the goals (error-free) of busy nursing home care administrators.


A sample of wireframes (v2) based on feedback from peers. View the annotated wireframes here.

Main Functionality Walkthrough


Understanding data and visualization is key to dashboard design. Successful dashboard design includes but is not limited to an understanding of different data types, what types of visualizations are the most appropriate based on the data, and what needs to be communicated depending on user end goals. For example, bar charts are better for comparison than pie charts. 3D charts hinder understanding and readability.  

Form design is complex and challenging. Luke Wroblewski’s writings and book about form design were especially helpful in understanding the how and why of form design best practices. This is one area that I’ll continue to evaluate carefully in my future work. While forms may be ubiquitous, a well-designed form is surprisingly uncommon.

Design lives within larger systems. Often I found myself thinking about how a reporting system would live within the greater ecosystem of an organization, especially larger ones that often have proprietary or legacy systems. While it would be easier to design for an ideal situation where systems are current, smart and sophisticated, I opted to address what is available while I hope offering a solution that is efficent and enjoyable for a reporting system.

Above all else, remember the core users. In one version of my dashboard analytics design, I received feedback that the visualizations I presented were possibly too sophisticated and that financial analysis was perhaps more than needed for this type of system.

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