Human-Centered Design Inspires Healthcare Solutions to Take Patient/Member Engagement to New Levels

Today’s patients/members expect you to really know them; to help them through barriers and provide quality, personalized care. Human-centered design (HCD) will help you position your organization so you can meet their rising expectations.

HCD Exemplified: Meet Kashya

Kashya is confident, bold, fearless, kind and has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. When she sets her mind to something – she crushes it. And doing exercises is a daily struggle, to put it mildly. Using HCD, an Alexa Skill was developed to engage her (and others like her) to stay compliant with treatment plans.

Kashya will be our illustrative proxy in this four-part series, as we explore how HCD is changing the way organization’s approach patient engagement.

Let’s Start at the Beginning — What is Human-Centered Design?

HCD is an approach that puts people at the heart of the entire problem-solving process. It begins and ends with a deep understanding of the patients you are designing for, and results in:

  • Tailored, personalized solutions
  • The ability to meet and exceed patient needs
  • Organizational goals that are aligned

Phase 1: Inspiring Through Immersion

HCD begins with the individual. It provides different ways to understand individuals through observation, interviews and exploring other industries that are solving similar issues. Immersing the team in the environment and patient footprint provides deep insight into real challenges and opportunities.

In our example, in this first phase, the focus was to understand what Kashya and her mom were really experiencing and uncover insights from non-medical experiences.

 A Bluespire team developing an Alexa Skill for occupational therapy pediatric patients observed organized play times to see how to engage children. The interaction and laughter between children inspire the motivational content for the skill.

Tip! Learning directly from patients is at the core of human-centered design. Five meaningful and deep conversations can more often yield better results than fifty shallow and broad ones.

Phase II: Innovating Through Ideation

A strategist (or team) will synthesis the insights and look for patterns on what was observed and heard. Often we craft many “How Might We” (HMW’s) questions which are used to frame the patient’s challenge based on the positive change you want to make (rather than what you are trying to avoid).

  • How might we better engage Kashya with her physical therapy?
  • How might we give mom tools to mitigate the daily struggle?
  • How might we make exercise fun?

We then pick several ideas to prototype and share with the individuals we’re designing for and get immediate feedback.

Tip! If your broader team consists of many stakeholders, consider holding an “Open House” to answer questions, provide updates and bring others along in the journey without slowing down the core team’s pace. Creating an opportunity for their HMW’s strengthens communications and alignment.

Phase III: Improving & Iterating — Always

This phase is often referred to as the Implementation phase. But it is really the start of the next beginning. Continuous improvement and iteration is critical with HCD. Since the world changes constantly, a solution is never truly done or complete.

Tip! Selecting the right team or department to pilot a new solution with is critical to overall success. Assessing the readiness and tolerance for change is an important part of the general product governance.

At Bluespire, our Human-Centered Design process can be seen in action. Want to know how you can implement it in your organization? Inquire today.

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