Capsule hotels, football stadium ticket offices that haven’t changed in 40 years, restaurants that are out of the ordinary, Twitter, … They are all good and bad examples of how services are designed nowadays. In total, twenty people took part in the in-depth study for the first edition of We Sell Smoke on the usefulness of design thought, focused on the field of healthcare.
Julia Scheaper, service designer and Associate of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in the UK, explained how minor changes to daily routines can make a big difference. As an example of this, she showed how a small change in how food is distributed to patients in the NHS resulted in a 38% reduction in the time hospital staff spent on this task.
After the talk by Julia, in which she used real examples to demonstrate the potential of design thought at a time when the healthcare sector is trying to reduce costs, four work groups were formed amongst the attendees to apply what had been learnt to real-life cases. There was an analysis followed by a joint discussion on the situation of older patients who are unable to leave their house, how the health system is perceived and the experience of a patient up until they come out of the doctor’s surgery. To improve the experience in each of these cases automatic pill dispensers were designed for pharmacies, social networks to empower the patients were proposed, as well as various ideas for each of the individual situations.