Office of Patient Experience

Apr 2016 / Ann Arbor, MIUsing Human Centered Design to create a space of calm and tranquility for patients and their families

In the midst of the clinical hustle and bustle of tests and treatments, patients and their loved ones need an escape. We see from existing data that even just the “noisy” elements of a hospital – paging systems, alarms, bedrails moved up/down, telephones, staff voices, as well as noises generated by roommates – make a big impact on a patients well being. What we have learned is that more pleasant and tranquil the environment, the more positive the impact on physical and emotional health. Yet these spaces are few and far between. I lead a workshop where we bought together patients, healthcare providers, facilities personnel, designers, and staff to design spaces and experiences that provide the calm. This workshop was loosely structured as:

Activity 1: Empathy Map. To focus the team on thinking about the proposals in terms of patients and families.

Activity 2: Cover Story. To get a common understanding as a team to what our latent needs and wants for this new space are.

Activity 3: Walk the wall.
To get a grip on the various individual ideas (not full proposals) proposed by the designers, prioritize these ideas and weed out the ones that do not work.

Activity 4: Converging ideas into 3 proposals. The goal of this activity is to visually take the ideas that we have voted on in the previous activity and converge them into 3 (or however many we decide) final proposals

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