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Thinking Health Care Redesign?

The discipline of design thinking offers new viewpoints on eliminating redundancies, wasted effort and catastrophic mistakes.
"What design thinking can offer is a practiced eye for integration opportunities: connecting adjacent but unconnected pieces of the patient experience to create small, incremental improvements. The integration process begins with a question—"What's right for the patient?"—and proceeds to a deep examination of the patient journey, resulting in a holistically designed experience that benefits all.
Examples:
  • Phillips Home Healthcare Trilogy100 ventilator.
    • The unit "combines much of the function of a hospital-grade ventilator with a dual-mode interface, meaning clinicians get the control and information they want, and home users get an unscary device with an intuitive control panel. This means fewer costly trips back to the clinic and less paperwork for administrators, while the unit's portability allows chronic patients to integrate therapy into their daily activities, affording them greater independence."
  • Kaiser Permanente's "Total Health" initiative.
    • Kaiser attempts to rethink and redesign every aspect of its operations, "from medical records to medication administration, color palettes to carpet," all in an effort to create more integrated patient experiences. Kaiser identified 22 key steps in a patient's journey, including check-in, visiting the pharmacy, even walking along a corridor." 
  • Medical home initiatives.
    • "...relying heavily on self-administered home tests and frequent communication between patients and their primary care physicians. Services include "round-the-clock access, electronic health records, use of e-mail and phone communication, patient feedback, and fee for service and fee for performance," according to a CNN Money report."
    • Geisinger's 2006 pilot program found a reduction of nearly eight percent in hospital admissions among its Medicare patients.
(From Sohrab Vossoughi writing in Bloomberg Business Week.)

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