Human-Centered Design - Mayo Center for Innovation - Healthcare Design

Why We Love Human-Centered Design (And You Should Too)

Post Written by UMR Writing Intern Megan Zimmerman

Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation (CFI) is dedicated to the idea that healthcare is at its best when it is designed to meet the needs of their patient. This idea is called human-centered design. The team of designers start by trying to understand what patients need or where their health care experience is lacking. Then, the CFI team collaborates with designers, researchers, medical professionals, and other experts to come up with creative solutions to improve how patients experience health care. According to the CFI website, patient exam rooms have not seen very much change in the past 100 years. The Center for Innovation is determined to transform the experience of health care delivery with a focus on patient-centered care. Regardless of your age or health, everyone will be in a hospital exam room sometime in the future. The goal of their research is to improve your experience when you go see your physician or care team.

The design team members bring diverse backgrounds with them, yet they all share a passion for improving the patient experience at Mayo Clinic. The design team uses methods such as interviewing patients and families, observation, modeling, prototyping, and visualization to fully understand the problem and come up with a better solution. CFI designed an outpatient lab and a virtual space to allow the team members to observe patients and medical professionals in the hospital and in other settings such as the patient’s home. By using actual patients, the design team gets a better understanding of how people react to the prototypes they are developing. This allows them to make decisions about what works faster and more efficiently. The CFI team has also developed a living lab in Charter House. This building is called a continuing care retirement community that houses 400 residents on the Mayo Clinic campus. The goal of the HAIL (Healthy Aging & Independent Living) Lab is to allow seniors to remain independent and healthy for as long as possible. Many of the services and technologies CFI has developed are prototyped and piloted in this lab.

Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation is improving the way healthcare is delivered. Once they develop effective techniques, their ideas will be implemented throughout Mayo Clinic and other healthcare institutions soon after. As patients, we will all benefit from the research they are doing and hope that it all improves the quality of our lives.