3 August 2007

What patients want

Be the first to share

SPARC
I have written before about the SPARC Program at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, which uses a design methodology that is rooted in the techniques of ethnography, prototyping, design thinking, and business integration, but just found several backgrounders that are worth sharing.

First there is a Minnesota Medicine article that reports in detail on how physicians and designers from Mayo Clinic are using a creative process borrowed from industry to improve the patient experience.

Step off the elevator onto the 17th floor of the Mayo Building in Rochester and you might think you’re in a design firm in the heart of the Minneapolis warehouse district. Light fixtures that look like flying saucers hang from a ceiling supported by steel beams, hovering over open workspaces. Colorful, overstuffed chairs form a circle in the center of the room next to a wall of note-filled whiteboards. Glass walls offer passersby a glimpse into the work that goes on inside—here at the SPARC Innovation Laboratory in the heart of Mayo Clinic’s internal medicine department. Across the hall is a row of exam rooms that serve as Petri dishes for ideas that are dreamed up behind the lab’s glass walls.

Alan Duncan, M.D., medical director of the lab, enthusiastically points out some of the concepts physicians and designers are testing. Duncan walks quickly, stopping to show off a biometric reader on the door frame of an exam room and explain that physicians can place their index finger on the reader to log on to the EMR system.

He says they came up with the idea after watching how physicians would enter an exam room, greet the patient, then log on … and wait. “We knew that if you started the log-in process earlier, you could improve patient satisfaction,” he explains. “So why not reverse the order so you log on using biometrics, and by the time you’re done greeting the patient, the computer is ready to go? It’s one way design works—by reframing an issue.”

And that’s the whole point of the SPARC Innovation Program, Duncan explains: To find ways to use design to improve the patient experience. “Everything we do is from the patient’s perspective,” he says.

The laboratory was created through internal funds, philanthropic support, and a grant from the VHA Health Foundation, which also posted an article on SPARC on its own website, focussing more on the service design aspect.

Meanwhile Alan K. Duncan, M.D., medical director of the lab, has created a 41 slide “monograph” (3.1 mb) this year on his experiences setting up the SPARC Innovation Program:

“This monograph […] describes a practical approach to incorporating design thinking into creating and transforming health services. We believe that the progressive health organization – the ambidextrous organization – will find new capabilities here to balance with traditional business tools and techniques.”

Finally, there is also this interview with Alan K. Duncan, published as part of the 2005 IIT Design Strategy Conference, where he talks about how The Mayo Clinic’s SPARC Innovation Program improves healthcare by blending the practices of design and medicine.

(via Design for India)

Be the first to share
15 August 2015
Innovation labs as public change agents
Jesper Christiansen and Runa Sabroe of the Danish human-centred internal governmental body MindLab ask how to increase the effectiveness and legitimacy of public sector interventions – both by creating the actual outcomes that are politically …
15 August 2015
What is the ‘sharing economy’? A perspective from Seoul
As a Fulbright grantee, Emily Hong spent part of the last year researching the sharing economy in Seoul. One of her main findings? Korea actually has two. The first is small-scale, hyper local and socialist in …
14 August 2015
Jon Kolko: Design thinking comes of age
How should companies think about design centricity? For Jon Kolko, vice president of design at Blackboard, an education software company, design thinking can define the way an organization functions at the most basic levels—how it …
11 August 2015
Thingclash: putting human values in the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to be one of the most far reaching and fundamental shifts in how people interact with technology and their environment since the advent of the Internet. But, the rush …
11 August 2015
[Book] Aging and the Digital Life Course
Aging and the Digital Life Course Edited by David Prendergast and Chiara Garattini Series: Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations Publisher: Berghahn Books (June 30, 2015) Hardcover, 289 pages Abstract Across the life course, new forms of community, ways of …
8 August 2015
Stanford: taking back control of an autonomous car takes five to eight seconds
Autonomous cars are based on the premise - similar to airplanes - that the human driver can take back control of the vehicle in case of emergency. But that takes quite a bit of time. Two …
1 August 2015
Nissan’s place-based design process
Megan Neese is a senior manager in the Future Lab at Nissan Motor Ltd., a cross-functional team tasked with uncovering new business opportunities for the future of automotive. In an article for EPIC, she explains how …
1 August 2015
[Report] Design for Service Innovation & Development
Design for Service Innovation & Development: Final Report Edited by y Daniela Sangiorgi, Alison Prendiville, Jeyon Jung and Eun Yu May 2015 DeSID (Design for Service Innovation and Development) is a six-month scoping study funded by the AHRC …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles