Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Health orgs applying "design thinking"

Amitha Kalaichandran, New York Times, writes about a hospital that used a nurse-generated idea to clear up confusion over who was in charge during emergency treatment: The trauma team leader wears an orange vest. In another facility--he or she wears a hard hat.

In recent years, more hospitals support ideas from any and all members of the team--using the human-centered approach called "design thinking."

Some aspects of this are empathy for the user (the patient), interdisciplinary buy-in, and immediate prototyping  or pilot programming.

Usually design thinking comes in when a service is fundamentally broken.

At Thomas Jefferson University in Philly, little kids could not respond meaningfully to the 1-10 pain scale, so they created the CareCube--on each face of the colorful cube was a drawing of a face in various stages of pain.

At another hospital, they noticed that the closer the sink was to patients with a contagious intestinal infection, the more likely staff was to wash hands. So they moved these patients to a new part of the hospital with handier sinks.

There is also an organization now called Clinicians for Design.

Over the years, on this blog, I have covered:

--A vending machine for doctor's offices so patients can get their first prescription without going to the pharmacy (since they may be sick or have kids in tow)

--A range of flavorings for liquid medicines for finicky patients

--Introduction of complementary therapies

--Ways to make hospitals quieter, especially at night

--Phone apps and wearables that eliminate doctor visits

--Special clothes for the disabled and wheelchair bound

To name a few.

Keep thinking!

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