Be Like Water
Strategies for infusing design in healthcare organizations
Katie McCurdy and I gave a presentation about our design work in healthcare at Interaction Design Association’s annual conference, Interaction17, in New York City. We shared several case studies in order to demonstrate how our approach is slowly permeating the UVM Medical Center, and changing its culture along the way.
Picture a large academic medical center full of passionate and committed people — nurses, doctors and many other staff — who feel constrained by a rigid and hierarchical environment that doesn’t always support the best user experiences for patients or employees. Now imagine two lone designers trying to make a difference in this setting, navigating a dense bureaucracy, looking for kindred spirits and building productive partnerships across silos. In this talk, we share stories of how human-centered design can infuse humanity and bring about cultural change within a hospital, mediating organizational needs with those of end users who may be stressed or vulnerable.
We discuss projects that span the design of systems, clinical processes, services, environments, digital interactions, and printed materials. These vignettes show how we have used generative, participatory, and action-oriented methods and tools to creatively and empathetically solve complex healthcare problems, all the while changing perceptions of what work looks like. Learn how human-centered design can help bring the human scale back to the heart of our healthcare institutions.
Here’s a video of our talk:
And the slides: