Medical Construction & Design

MAY-JUN 2018

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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MCDM AG.COM | M AY/ J U N E 2018 | Medical Construction & Design 49 produce a new mindset through the process of co-creating with the client. The end result is customized, yet practi- cal, knowledge coupled with empathy — all focused on the client's unique needs — that can shape the future of the human experience in the resultant built environment. Design thinking in healthcare The fi ve steps of design think- ing methodology allow us to go beyond just design. They can, over time, empower those charged with patient care and operations to own the result- ing innovations and adopt the changes needed to thrive. STEP 1 Building empathy This step involves encouraging the process of unlearning — of suspending assumptions for the sake of inspiration and insight. This begins with empathy. The goal is to ensure designers and decision-makers fully understand those who will be using their facilities. Thus, it provides groups a rich foundation for the human- centered process that follows. The process involves implementing ethnographic research that not only studies users, but also learns with them. It goes beyond interviews and focus groups; teams of users are created to accompany each other as they go about their daily work to garner the deep insight into what drives their habits. This not only improves knowledge of people's thoughts and emotions behind their actions and behaviors, but also builds empathy within the organizational culture — which can be complex and siloed. Often, practices have been developed over time to solve problems for users. However, these "work-arounds" are not necessarily solutions, but could be key indicators of what needs the solutions should meet. Thus, by building empathy through the voice and activity of the user, unanticipated insights come to light that can ultimately guide future transformation. STEP 2 Defi ning challenge & opportunity areas This is perhaps the most diffi cult step in the process, as it requires producing a coherent vision out of what is often a complicated problem. By synthesizing the insights gleaned to this point and developing an actionable problem statement, a true summary of the challenge will emerge. In this stage, designers and users work together to reframe the problem to eff ectively address the true needs, rather than assume what those needs might be. The process allows time for the user groups to share what they've learned through their own ethnographic research and then develop narratives that refl ect the ideal scenarios for various patients and staff . This can be accomplished in many diff erent ways, depending on the group dynamics. Some do this in writing; however, a more eff ective way of story- telling is when participants act out a scene depicting the ideal patient or staff experience. This process of synthesizing and storytelling leads to the creation of the fi nal challenge summary. The statement becomes not only inspiring for the design team, but also for the client organization. In formulating the design challenge summary, "criti- cal to quality" elements are taken into account — proven, research-driven features and activities that must occur with- in the space being designed to drive improved human experi- ences, effi cient care delivery and clinical outcomes, but not necessarily the form by which these are accomplished. These

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