“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.
In 2016, when CMS announced new ways to measure patient experience, our goal was to get out in front of the new requirements by taking a close look at each aspect of our patients' experience and assess our readiness to meet those requirements with people, processes and tools. Our context for change was written in the measures from the OAS-CAHPS survey: quality of communication and care by both providers and office staff, and preparations for surgery, discharge and recovery.
The gift of clarity establishes the roots needed to visualize, design and deliver a a human centered healthcare experience: to understand the potential points of confusion, then meet individuals at each step in their journey with simple, consistent and well-supported tools. Whether these are designed to support small initiatives or large-scale transitions, anticipating the “ripple effects” of human interactions is critical to achieving sustainable success.