Participation in Healthcare Systems: Patients aren’t Customers

Peter Jones Design for Care, Service Design

My favorite healthcare blog KevinMD posts every so often with an eloquent heartfelt piece on the problem of patients as customers. In This is Why Patients Cannot be Customers Dr. Tanya Feke points out that: A study in the British Journal of General Practice showed how patient satisfaction surveys can be skewed. More than 980,000 patients were surveyed across 7,800 practices. Doctors who prescribed more antibiotics were perceived more favorably than family doctors who doled out fewer antibiotics. When you consider U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence estimates more than 10 million antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriately prescribed every year (antibiotics do not treat colds and other viral infections), there is a serious disconnect. We continue to borrow from inappropriate language constructs to make arguments about desired outcomes without thinking through the anticipatory ancillary effects. If we propose that patients are persons, as Tanya does, that’s a start. Individuals …

Integrative Design Healthcare Charette

Peter Jones Design for Care, Innovation, Systemic Design

Prof John Marshall, program director for the new Stamps School of Design Integrative Design MDes, invited us to facilitate a multi-stakeholder charrette in December with their students and professors to develop proposals for the Ann Arbor VA Hospital and community. Working with John and the VA’s key stakeholders for innovation and ambulatory care, the Redesign team employed a modified Basadur Simplexity structure to guide the proceedings. The charrette included medical industry professionals, design leads and managers from Guardian Industries, Stryker, U.S. Army veterans, and of course stakeholders from the VA Healthcare System to work in small groups to identify, map out and explore core challenges for proposing focal points for action. The Stamps graduate design students produced excellent footage and photographs to document the session.   Redesign partner Patricia sketched the full-length visual narrative to capture the process, stages, and plenary results from the day’s sessions. The focus of the workshop entailed two significant challenges: …

Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service

Peter Jones Design for Care, Organization, Systemic Design

Lisa Norton, a professor in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, conducted an interview with me earlier this year for Integral Leadership Review and also published it on her own Design Being.  Titled Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service, its available both online and as a PDF article. Several paragraphs are included herein to bring this back home to Design Dialogues. She opens with: Leveraging systems thinking, human-centered design, and information architecture, his Redesign Network serves the emergence of healthcare service systems capable of taking better care of human beings. By developing schemas for more comprehensive understanding of systemic conditions, Peter Jones is defining new intersections and innovation spaces in healthcare and information-intensive services. In the following interview, Dr. Jones shares first-person reflections and insights on patterns in organizational leadership and influence, as well as his hopes and concerns for the future of healthcare systems design. Lisa writes: “In the developed world, every citizen …

Fear and Loathing of Evidence in Design Research

Peter Jones Design for Care, Design for Practice, Design research

Depending on the discourses you follow, you might notice “design-led everything” has charged ahead with design thinking, speculative and design futures, empathic HCD and so on. Design research and advanced methods have lagged in these discourses. Emerging designers could easily believe that a product/service business case can be supported by small-sample field observations and a keen sense of empathy for participants (i.e., would-be customers).  At many design schools, the belated rise of human factors (endorsed in second gen design methods) has drifted off into mixed-mashes of methods. I hate to admit how little emphasis we give to evaluation in my courses now – in the 1990’s, usability and contextual evaluations established a positive reinforcing process in competitive growth cycles. Back when money wasn’t cheap and the web wasn’t monetized by surveillance adverts, you couldn’t afford to launch a weak product. Business decisions were based on data, and we had “real data.” So the recent arguments about evidence …