How Design Thinking Drives Healthcare Innovation and Patient Engagement


Healthcare InnovationHealthcare providers are experiencing a time of unprecedented opportunity as the industry shifts from volume- to value-based care. As a result, providers are investing in new technologies to drive patient engagement and advance healthcare innovation. According to The Engagement Gap: Healthcare Consumer Engagement in 2017, a study on the state of consumer engagement in healthcare conducted by ORC International and commissioned by Change Healthcare, payers and providers are dedicating between a quarter and a third of their investments to consumer engagement.

The drive for innovation is clear. In fact, 75 percent of the more than 300 hospital executives who responded to a survey from The American Hospital Association (AHA) and AVIA believe that digital innovation is a priority, and 72 percent of larger health organizations have an innovation center or plan to build one as part of their long-term strategy.

However, in most cases, this focus on innovation isn’t successfully addressing the problem. 60 percent of the leaders surveyed indicated that they have not seen a large enough ROI from previous digital solutions. Unfortunately, what providers think will improve the patient experience is not always what patients really want or need. For instance, while providers are focused on telehealth tools, the Healthcare Consumer Engagement study revealed that patients are more interested in cost tools that enable pricing transparency, care alerts, and integrated provider and payer websites.

If providers continue to deliver what they think patients want or need, they will continue to fail. Achieving success and benefiting from a true return on investment requires a new approach. Enter: Design Thinking, a creative framework to solve problems and drive healthcare innovation with solutions that result in real value for end users (both patients and clinicians) and the organization. A Design-led approach focuses on empathy, addressing existing pain points and improving user experiences with products, tools, processes, and experiences that truly support their needs. By involving users from start to finish, a Design-based approach results in solutions that satisfy their needs and generate return on investment.

Thomas Jefferson University is just one of the many organizations already leveraging the power of Design Thinking. In Jefferson’s Health Design Lab, medical students and architecture students employed Design Thinking to develop a digital mapping tool that uses GPS-like software to understand how patients, doctors, and nurses move around and interact in the emergency room, with the aim of improving communication and decreasing wait times.

With Navigate’s help, you can apply the Design Thinking framework to proactively address changes as you shift away from traditional operating models to better engage patients and clinicians, optimize systems and processes, create bottom-line value, and advance healthcare innovation. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to me at 484.383.0606 or [email protected].

Stef Kuonen, Manager
Stef Kuonen


Change Management Done Right
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