Quick thoughts from the Christchurch Design Lab.

Walking into the Design Lab, my first though was 'what the hell is this place?' which is an awesome first thought to have.

We were there to absorb what we could from the rebuild work of the Christchurch hospital, I was specifically interested in the design methods. It didn't take me long to realise it was an adapted mix of IDEO and lean methodologies - thumbs up!

I went in rather critical - often UCD is said to be at the forefront of these things, but rarely is. Luckily, my criticism was quickly nulled as time and time again it was proven that the lab and it's purpose was all about the user and integrating their feedback into the design outcome. Furthermore the user participation in this co-design process was just as valued in terms of delivering a successful outcome (that would ultimately be accepted and owned). This sense of fostering a community and building pride is ultra important for both staff and patients in creating future states.

The Design Lab team actively involved over 6000 people in the design process of the new hospital rebuild.

One of the projects I was particularly interested in was that of the 'patient journey' as it's something I've wanted to visualise since starting my job here (At the SDHB). With the recent Primary and Community Care Strategy this is something I hope to get the opportunity to do.

They had three basic questions that they wanted to answer.
1. What was the patient journey?
2. How did the patients feel throughout this journey?
3. What services were they offered throughout the way?

"You come in worrying about what you've let behind and leave worrying about yourself"

The ability to switch between a patient perspective and a whole systems POV is not an easy thing to do - but how these two connect is really where the pressing issues are at. How information is shared between this micro and macro level is where communications work. How do we frame and model these integral bits in between??

Psychology and behaviour:

I was impressed that a number of the activities were based on how and why staff and patients think the way they do and how we can better design the health system to value people over process. It's all quite simple really. Change is more likely to occur if people can maintain a level of familiarity - this is akin to accepting creative outcomes. So how do we expose people to new ideas and concepts? we involve them from the beginning, we value their time and input, and we empathise with them.

Extra take home points:

- The only currency in the health system that matters is 'time'. Money just buys time.

- Ageing demographic - let's view as an opportunity - "We are going to have the healthiest ageing population ever" older staff are going to be the future patients. This means a change of perspective from a 'illness' based system to a 'wellness' based system.

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