“Design is not a department” 

Creating a culture of design in healthcare

Have you heard of Simple? It’s an online banking startup with a unique approach to the consumer. You can find out more about Simple and their unique approach to banking here, but it has been described as a “humane alternative to traditional banking” with a singular focus on the consumer.

As the founders describe:

“Simple was started out of frustration with banks, and so we decided from the beginning to be different. We are serious about creating an experience for our customers that’s unlike any personal finance product you’ve ever used.”

I recently watched this 99u talk by Josh Reich, one of the founders of Simple, and I think his approach has profound lessons for healthcare.

His talk is titled, “Design is not a Department” and he states:

“We don’t actually have a design team…”
“Everyone at Simple is involved in design.”
“Everyone at the company is united by this really strong belief in the mission that we are trying to accomplish to help people better control and understand their finances and collectively we are able to bring the passions we have outside of work to work, to make a product together that is revolutionary…”

What if this were the case for healthcare?

“We don’t actually have a design team…”
“Everyone in our healthcare system is involved in design.”
“Everyone in our healthcare institution is united by this really strong belief in the mission that we are trying to accomplish to help people better control and understand their health and collectively we are able to bring the passions we have outside of work to work, to make a healthcare system together that is revolutionary…”

What if we had a culture of design in healthcare? What if every individual in a healthcare organization, patient and caregiver, CEO, nurse, physician, staff, clerk, and janitor, all worked together as designers to collectively improve healthcare? A #whatifhc dream.

I post about healthcare and design on Medium (https://medium.com/@joyclee), you can more information about me here, and you can find me tweeting about #design, #hcsm, #mhealth, and #dataviz on Twitter: @joyclee. For blogpost updates, sign up here.