The lack of awareness and understanding about the Hospital at Home program can induce mistrust, hindering the potential of the program.
The Hospital at Home program offers a comfortable and convenient alternative to traditional hospital stays, with daily visits from a team of healthcare professionals. Although it may not be suitable for all patients, thorough evaluations ensure the best possible care. Inadequate information can negatively impact decision-making and quality of care, making comprehensive assessments crucial.
The healthcare innovation wing of one of the largest medical center in the US wanted to understand how to educate and provide effective communication of Hospital at Home Program information to patients and caregivers. The proposed solution would help the to effectively impart knowledge about the program to patients through print and visual media.
The service experience at the University of Chicago medical facilities was explored through a multi-method approach that included a review of primary research was done earlier, secondary research of patient education materials and evaluation tools, and site visits. The primary research conducted during the summer provided valuable insights into the experiences of patients who have received care at UChicago medical facilities. By reviewing this service blueprint of the program, the team was able to identify pain points and opportunity areas for developing communication prototypes.
Service model and intervention touch-points developed with research.
My team worked on helping patients and caregivers on their use of technology during the program. There were many constraints in place including readability and comprehensive nature of the material. From our research, we found,
Patients and caregivers need clear expectations before returning home.
All of the caregivers and patients knowledge in what to do during the program, is based off of what the hospital provides.
Providing informative but not overwhelming quantities of information, enabling easier and quicker communication between nurse navigator, patients and caregivers in the bedside.
Site Visits and desk research for understanding the context
"How might we educate patients and caregivers on the Hospital at Home program for informed decision making?"
INTRODUCING, TECH-PACK GUIDE
A communication tool for the patients and caregivers to have an effective understanding of how to use there technologies (devices) that is given to you for daily monitoring and remote tele-health visits. The document includes general overview of the tools, detailed guide on how to use each and how it connects with other systems.
Diagram showing how
the devices connect.
Illustration of the device and parts.
Illustration of the device and parts.
Guidance to use
This communication tool can also help healthcare providers understand how to educate and provide effective communication of Hospital at Home Program information to patients and caregivers, in addition to guiding them on the use of the provided technologies for remote monitoring and tele-health visits.
After 14 weeks of extensive design and development, the communication prototype was created and tested in different hospital settings. The process included co-design sessions, patient and nurse panel interviews, and meetings with executives. The pilot launch was a success as a 90-year-old patient with congestive heart failure was able to receive virtual visits and care at home with the help of the communication tools designed. The patient's condition improved significantly and they were discharged early. This new approach to care impressed the Chief Quality Officer, who requested a copy of the service blueprint to share with the operational excellence team. This innovative solution has paved the way for a more efficient and effective method of care.
Testing of communication tools with actual patients
The great success of last night's opening (amazing conversation) and visitorship to the exhibition thus far (800+ alone over the preview weekend) is a testament to the hard work and thoughtfulness that each of you put into this.
- Kristin Gecan, Assistant Dean & Senior Director for Content
01. Design is iterative
Design is an iterative process that involves constant refinement and improvement through feedback and testing. During this project, as it was a live ongoing project, new information where added every week so constant changes needed to be done. it was challenging but engaging.
02. Avoiding personal bias is hard, but very important.
The main aim of this project was to develop communication tools for patients. Many considerations were required like readability, accessibility, etc. Many times, my personal bias came into play that at times blinded me from addressing the core problem, even if it were small.