"It'd be nice to have a more personal side to things, so I know in my heart, not just in my head, that I am being taken seriously." –MSKCC patient
For 10 weeks in the summer of 2012, I joined the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Design Innovation Lab to redesign the New Patient Experience. The goal of the project was to propose ways in which the hospital could deliver and start to gain the reputation of being a more patient-centered institution.
We conducted ethnographic research with clinicians, staff, and patients, as well as conducted workshops with different department representatives within the hospital. We faced challenges in scope and time constraints and had to find ways to adjust accordingly. During our final stakeholder presentation, we presented needs, design principles, sample concepts, and recommendations on where to start. This set the foundation for more specific initiatives that are currently being prototyped such as the Welcome Kit and the Patient Navigator.
The needs we discovered from our research:
1. Improve the process of transferring information. Patients currently carry the burden of being the middle man between their family doctor and MSK, even though they are the ones who are most unfamiliar with the terminology and disease.
2. A more personal approach. An institution as large as MSK deals with hundreds of patients daily, but for the patient, it’s always their first time.
3. Include family members as part of the “patient team”. Family members are often very involved in the decision-making process, and have the potential to be a very valuable in creating a supportive environment for the patient.
4. Prepare patients for what to expect of the process. New patients are already anxious about their treatment and diagnosis; they shouldn’t have to worry about more unknowns.
Below are process photos documenting the different research activities we conducted.