Client: Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is a large California healthcare and health insurance organization with a reputation for innovation and customer focus. Our immediate client within the organization was the Facilities department at the local campus. They are in charge of new building construction and maintenance.
We led with an introductory visioning workshop, to understand the project goals and stakeholders. In this case the goal was to:
1. Consolidate several departments into one refurbished building.
2. Improve the patient experience during the oncology infusion process.
I conducted secondary (desktop) research, learning healthcare trends specific to oncology infusion, then created and conducted primary research, including observations and interviews on-site. I recruited the principal architect and interior designer to assist with the user-centered research.
After analysis of the research, I presented our findings to the stakeholders. We presented our learnings from the observations, our analysis, and our vision for the project. The architect and interior designer then presented how our strategy translated into the design of the built environment.
One internal sub-goal of this project, and all projects within this organization, was to sell the value of design strategy within our own organization. By bringing the architect into the observation process, I was able to show first-hand the hidden user needs that surfaced only through good observational interviews. The resulting feedback was tremendous. He was very excited to implement our findings into the design. Subsequently, my analysis of the project met a receptive audience
Another sub-goal of the project was to acclimatize the care-providers to the fact that they would have a radically different work environment. They were to change from large offices, assigned by seniority, to a more social, group office environment. This was a requirement of standard templates from the larger organization. While we highlighted the value of the changed office environment, we also listened to the needs and concerns of the doctors, and other healthcare professionals that would be included in the space. For example, we learned that oncology doctors need space for a personal microscope in their offices. This change was later included into the standard template of the larger organization. I believe this effort at change-management had a large impact on the success of the later transition.
Finally, and most importantly, we used the research and analysis to greatly improve the patient experience. The existing solution was outdated and undersized, so any improvement would have been welcome. Our design, based on our research and interviews, included many features for improving the painful drudgery of chemotherapy. Importantly, the many interactions between different care providers were all accounted for and thoughtfully included. The design was well received.
I was the sole design strategist on the project. I led all customer meetings and workshops. I planned and conducted the research, did the analysis, and presented the findings to the client. Throughout it all, I brought in the designers wherever possible. They were the ones who would ultimately be responsible for realizing the strategy, so they needed to be part of the process.