Orthopedic Clinic Patient Experience for Changi General Hospital
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Re-designing a clinic in Singapore to meet patients' needs
Changi General Hospital, a restructured general hospital, runs one of the busiest orthopedic clinics in Singapore. Built a decade ago, the Orthopedic Clinic—which diagnoses and treats virtually all kinds of spine and joint disorders—grew rapidly. Hospital officials asked IDEO to help the clinic resolve some of its capacity challenges by designing a new clinic space that would improve the patient experience and enable more efficient workflow among doctors, nurses, and other staff members.
The IDEO team began the project by looking at the Orthopedic Clinic experience through the eyes of both patients and practitioners. Design researchers interviewed patients, families, and health-care experts, and observed day-to-day activities at the clinic and other hospitals in Singapore.
The team found that, due to overcrowding, walking into the Orthopedic Clinic was sometimes overwhelming: Patients spilled out of the clinic and felt that they weren’t able to readily get the attention of staff. Busy staff moved around a small space that sometimes was blocked by wheelchairs. Doctors, nurses, and patient service assistants were constantly under pressure to attend to worried and demanding patients while managing files stacked on their desks. It was stressful and draining to work under those conditions.
Based on these insights, we came up with a few design principles that would serve as pillars for a new spatial layout and related solutions. The resulting vision for a new service experience addresses the clinic’s work process, clarifies roles, and rethinks the spatial arrangement to change how patients experience the Orthopedic Clinic.
Hospital officials were very enthusiastic about being able to understand patients through their behaviors, allows them to provide better care. The redesigned Orthopedic Clinic is now in operation.
Project date: 2010