North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) and Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) are organisations that collaborate with the federal, state and local governments and communities to identify key health gaps and provide solutions to access equitable health services for 2.6 million combined community members.
How might we provide easy access to current services and resources to people living with dementia and their carers?
In a project funded by the Australian Government, NWMPHN and EMPHN collaborated to scope and develop the Dementia Directory, which provides information about local services and support available for individuals and their carers living with dementia in Melbourne. It serves as a more localised and complementary resource to the directories already in place for My Aged Care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
NWMPHN and EMPHN approached Plural to design and develop an online directory where users can find dementia-relevant services in an accessible, easily filtered, reliable and current format. It needed to be easily updated by the PHNs’ staff to keep the information current and accurate.
Plural worked closely with NWMPHN and EMPHN to develop an online resource that gives users the ability to search for specific business names or tags, while refining the search results to further narrow down to service categories and types, as well as location areas and suburbs.
Adhering to WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards, the online tool was designed with the end user in mind – large fonts, colour contrast and underlined links all aid the user in navigating the information for improved usability. Users can also easily print the search results in a spreadsheet output for offline reference. Furthermore, the site is mobile friendly with links directly to service addresses, click-to-call contact numbers and other contact details. Easy identification of service delivery formats (online, phone and video, or in-person) also gives the user a clear indication of how accessible the service is.
The directory is kept current in a convenient and timely manner – the PHNs can edit and update the directory database, which is as easy as using a spreadsheet. Changes to other page content can be made via a WYSIWYG, no-code tool. Reducing friction in content management means the end user always finds timely and accurate information for a better user experience and increased engagement.