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Care conversations


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How to establish and maintain expectations of patients and care team providers.

Patient satisfaction is affected by how their expectations are met. But how do we identify which part of the expectation affects their satisfaction level. How do we involve the care team members in establishing the right and achievable expectations for patients.

User Researcher and Service Designer.


  • Narrow down the problem to focus on a particular clinic and part of a patient’s care journey.

  • Conduct field research including interviews and co-design sessions with patients and providers.

  • Provide ideas and test them with stakeholders.

Skills used
Secondary research, contextual inquiry

Giving a recommendation that was acclaimed by doctors and patients. Our idea will soon be implemented in the pilot phase.   


I learnt a lot about conducting field research in innovative ways. When compared with traditional approaches like interviews, methods like co-design sessions, mad lib exercises, 2x2 matrix workshop helped us get more information in lesser time. In addition, this project taught me a lot about my capability to keep calm in pressured situations. 

Team members

Kevin Shaw, Michael Henderson

Emotion mapping workshop with patient advisors
Why? To understand about patients good and bad experiences in one journey.
We asked the participants to recall their most recent acute condition and their interaction with the hospital. While recalling this journey we asked them to map how they were feeling. After this quick mapping, we divided the participants into groups and while they were sharing and discussing their experience each researcher quickly noted down the themes coming out from each journey.
We synthesized this information in half-a-day and compared notes and saw few emerging themes. Based on these emerging themes, we did interviews with patients and hospital staff.
Intercept interviews with patients
Why? To understand what the word expectation means to a patient and what do they expect from their healthcare provider
We approached patients randomly waiting in the hospital main lobby and in clinics and did 5 minute interviews asking them about their expectations from patients. We purposely kept our questions vague and guided the questions to the topic the patient felt was important.
Workshop with hospital staff
Why? To identify what kind of patient expectations their job entitles them to fulfill.
We realized that interviewing and synthesizing these notes took a lot of time, so we decided to do an hour long workshop with hospital staff. We got a lot of information in less amount of time and helped us understand who are particular stakeholders are in this particular hospital staff team.
We divided the participants into 2 groups and asked them to list down what patients expect from them and what are their own expectations as a provider. We then asked them to map these into a matrix of doing well/unwell and important to patient/not important.
Observations and job shadows
Why? To see how patients utilize their waiting time and how they are acting before an appointment. To understand how the interactions are happening between providers and patients, and what kind of questions do patients have from their providers.
Affinity mapping
Why? To synthesize the data into themes.
We synthesized the interviews and findings from workshops, observations and jobs shadows to narrow down to key themes.
Design Sprint
Why? To double-check if we have identified the right problem and test some probable solution directions.

The whole innovation lab (comprising of 8 people) came together in one room for 3 days and finalized one “how might we”. We brainstormed ideas, role played the new idea, quickly prototyped it and tested it with patients and hospital staff.


Based on our sprint, we identified that there is a need of providing structured information from patients to providers and hence empowering them by reducing their work stress.


We decided to explore this solution in 3 ways: how can we utilize patient’s waiting room time to get this information, how can we automate the process of collecting information so that nurses spend less time on less urgent cases and how can we utilize community health resources in educating patients and giving them information from existing hospital resources.

Interviews with patients using scenarios
Why? To identify if patients could relate to this problem statement and how a solution will improve their care journey.

We designed a patient scenario with our concept and gave a walkthrough to the patients waiting in the lobby. We asked them questions if they could imagine themselves, their friends and family in such a scenario.

Interviews with triage nurses
Why? To identify if this concept is adding any value to the nurse’s work journey in the hospital.

We designed similar scenarios for nurses and asked their feedback on how this problem is affecting their work and interactions with the patients.

Co-design session
Why? To create ideas in a collaborative and get each other’s point of views and differences while thinking of solutions.

We got together patient advocates, triage nurses, doctors, telephone support specialists in a room and gave them scenarios. We then asked them to imagine this problem in 2050 and gave them tools to discuss the problem, produce ideas, think of objections which might inhibit the solution and then provide solutions to those objections.

Madlibs session
Why? To create ideas from nurses who are the experts in interacting and setting expectations of patients.

We gave the patient scenario in the form of madlibs and gave the participants a 2050 premise of the problem. The madlib ended in an open-ended ending of the story and we wanted to see how the nurses would end this scenario in their way of thinking.

Brainstorming ideas
Brainstorming session scenes
Testing with patients and nurses
Why? To test the concept.

We went to patients and nurses with paper prototypes of these solutions and asked them for feedback on how this would affect their work flow(for nurses) and care journey(for patients). We also asked if they could their friends/colleagues using these tools to get more honest feedback.

Narrow down one solution
After getting feedback, we considered the pros and cons of each solution from our stakeholder’s point of view and narrowed to one solution: the conversation guide and health education through tracking.
Testing with patients

Initial testing of final concept. We also sent out surveys to doctors to get information about the tracking data they need from patients, to make our prototypes more relatable/contextual.

Implementing feedback from patients and information from doctors.
Final concept

Final testing for our second version of prototype.

Service blueprint
Why? To map out the journey of our stakeholder’s with the new service.

Drafted a blueprint for the new service that we are recommending and how it will be involved in different stakeholder’s space.

MVP version brainstorming
Why? In order to implement this new service, we have to first pilot the basic version and see what effect it is making and how it can improved.

We researched on offline methods of collecting health data and creating a conversation guide for small clinics. Once this gets implemented and we can utilize the feedback to reiterate the pilot version and pilot this project in other clinics thus expanding our product slowly.

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