Katrina Machado


About Me

Healthcare Design Research

Learning about the needs of patients and providers within the Mass General Brigham health system

As part of the MGB Springboard Studio team, I conduct and collaborate on user research, with a special focus on understanding the experiences of patients and providers within the Mass General Brigham health system.


The health system is a complex web of teams and workflows. For patients, that complexity can lead to challenges as they navigate their care experiences. Uncovering insights from both the provider and patient sides of healthcare is a critical part in creating desirable solutions.  

Topics I’ve explored through user research:
  • Patient experiences with cancer care and chronic kidney disease
  • Patient and provider reactions to health plan service offerings
  • Early customer feedback about features and priorities for a postpartum digital exercise app
  • User testing and stakeholder feedback on a patient mobility tool prototype 

Example: The Studio was invited to work on a project to improve patient mobility in the inpatient setting. To narrow in on the challenge we could solve for, we conducted interviews and workshops with providers at Salem Hospital. Our insights shaped the project’s direction as we explored how to improve communication about mobility between providers, patients, and their families. Learn more here.     


I conduct HIPAA-compliant user research to understand processes, pain points and delight points, and reactions to proposed solutions. Individual interviews with patients and providers is the most common format for this work as it’s the most convenient and least burdensome way to learn qualitatively from our stakeholder population.

  • One-on-one in-depth interviews
  • Focus groups / Feedback sessions / Workshops

Example: I supported a team of MGB innovators who were looking to support postpartum women with safe exercise plans. I co-organized a feedback session with postpartum women—the team’s primary customer base—to understand their needs and challenges, which were then used to prioritize future app features. Learn more about the Core2U team here.
︎(Top) A group user feedback session to shape customer experience and priorities for an app focused on postpartum exercise. (Bottom) Gathering reactions from the nursing staff for a patient mobility tool prototype at Salem Hospital.


These insights add color to how we choose to address challenges in the health system. In an environment that is often not used to ‘design,’ it is impactful to provide insights in visualized formats that a range of stakeholders can understand and find actionable.

  • Process maps, journey maps, workflows
  • Common themes & moments of divergence
  • Personas

Example: We interviewed PCPs, nephrologists, surgeons, social workers, and ESRD nurses to learn about the current processes for treating patients with chronic kidney disease across the disease continuum. These insights led to a visualized process map which laid the groundwork for potential interventions to support patients.
MGB Springboard Studio,
Mass General Brigham health system 

user research strategy and planning; writing interview guides; leading and supporting interviews; synthesizing and visualizing insights through creating journey maps, workflows, personas, and more

Boston, MA

Fall 2022–present


For more info:
︎MGB Springboard Studio Case Study