October was crazy. Everywhere we went, we connected with incredibly creative, open people who shared their challenges and opportunities. We talked about design thinking, mindful exploration, curiosity, resourcefulness, the goodness in people and the importance of doing important work.
At age 51, my wife and I had each survived unexpected bouts with cancer, celebrated 25 years of marriage and sent our two sons off to college. And even though I was leading a successful design firm, I began to look closely at my life’s work, considering the second part of my career in design: what had it involved? What might it become?
The Beryl Institute has a members-only section titled “Patient Experience Learning Bites.” This was our opportunity to explain our point of view on Healthcare Experience Design.
"To provide the best in experience, healthcare organizations need to be focused on effective communication, sharing of information and processes that support that in happening. These needs do not require extensive resource investment, but they do call for unwavering commitment and focus. These priorities also provide a clear call to action and a path to experience success for organizations willing to focus on and address them."
- Jason Wolf, PhD, CPXP - President of the Beryl Institute
“Everyone talks about ‘breaking down silos’ in an organization. But silos were designed for a reason: to protect the contents so that they can serve their intended purpose. Rather than breaking them down, which would lead to chaos and loss, we need to focus on building better bridges between them.”
“Clouds are intended to represent physical systems which, like gases, are highly irregular, disorderly, and more or less unpredictable. On the other extreme of our arrangement, we [have] a very reliable pendulum clock, intended to represent physical systems which are regular, orderly, and highly predictable in their behavior.”
Myth #1. A Sign Fixes the Problem; or More Signs = Better Wayfinding
Signage seems like a logical solution if people are getting lost, but it’s important to think about the lack of information that caused people to actually be lost. How might they have been better supported by information?
Also, if a sign will fix the problem, beware of engaging the company that’s making money off signs to solve wayfinding problems. Sign companies will always be happy to sell more signs, which does not necessarily benefit patients. And just because you have an in-house sign shop/graphic designer to support the program doesn’t mean you’re developing effective wayfinding tools.
The best solutions incorporate fewer, better tools for wayfinding in healthcare facilities. The goal is to say less so people understand more.