putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
3 August 2007

What patients want

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

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
Related Article
16 December 2014
World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”
WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more accurate …
Related Article
8 December 2014
Understanding human behaviour to improve mobile research design
Shirley Eadie, founding member and CEO of Pondering Panda, explored some of the idiosyncrasies of the human condition at last month's MRMW Africa conference [Market Research in the Mobile World], in order to help attendees …
Related Article
5 December 2014
Using sensors in design research
Elliott Hedman is the founder of the design consultancy mPath, where he’s pioneering a new approach to design research. It combines stress-testing sensors with traditional observational techniques. The idea is to uncover the tiny, often …
Related Article
5 December 2014
How US state governments can improve customer service
A McKinsey Center for Government survey finds that Americans are often dissatisfied with state services—and identifies significant opportunities for improvement. Deloitte measured the satisfaction of citizens by surveying approximately 17,000 people across 15 US states. This …
Related Article
4 December 2014
There is no such thing as UX Design
Peter Merholz argues that the entire “field” of user experience emerged for one reason — to accommodate, and overcome, poor (or non-existent) product management practices. He now wants to retire the term: "'User experience design' served a …
Related Article
3 December 2014
Ericsson’s new ConsumerLab report about the smart citizen
Last month, Ericsson published its latest ConsumerLab report, entitled "Smart Citizens: How the internet facilitates smart choices in city life." The study covers 9 cities worldwide-Beijing, Delhi, London, New York, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, Stockholm and …
Related Article
27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update
Why the world needs anthropologists - Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 - The second edition …
Related Article
27 November 2014
Deep dive into drinking occasions
Five years into his role as head of strategic insights at Heineken UK, Mick Doran believes that the brewing industry is learning valuable lessons from other FMCG sectors in becoming more consumer inspired and brand …

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.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

19 October 2014
Update on EU research on energy efficient built environments

The European Commission funds research on a lot of important thematic areas, and in recent years the themes of sustainability and participatory approaches have received a lot of attention. This has made way for companies like Experientia to participate in research projects, as part of project consortiums with research and industry bodies from around Europe. […]

See all articles