The Challenge

Rethink the delivery of women's reproductive healthcare.

The Outcome

A comprehensive patient and employee experience, including waiting and recovery areas, a digital patient-provider counseling tool, easy-to-use online forms, and a unifying vision for Planned Parenthood staff.

A great healthcare experience shouldn’t be a luxury. It should be available to everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they need.

Planned Parenthood health centers have opened their doors to every woman and man for 100 years with this core conviction, offering services ranging from pap tests, cancer screenings, and breast exams to contraception, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, counseling, and education.

As the healthcare landscape continues to shift, Planned Parenthood is evolving to lead the progress. For the past year, the organization worked side by side with IDEO to rethink and prototype a patient and employee experience that elevates individuals and their health and well-being.

Together, the teams designed a number of patient and employee interactions and corresponding prototypes that address different patient needs: education, personalization, connection, and support for any decision.

Concepts in Development

These concepts are being rolled out across health centers around the country:

Welcoming Waiting Areas
To help set the right tone for patients from the time they enter the door, the teams designed waiting rooms that offer different types of environments for different needs. The Hub is an area that transforms the passive waiting room experience to a greeting area that’s staffed by knowledgeable guides who help orient patients, and quiet nesting spaces for reflection and privacy. Patients can spend time with friends and family in a social, kid-friendly common area, and those who want to get involved to support Planned Parenthood’s mission can learn about health and advocacy information. This modular design toolkit can adapt to the individual buildings, budgets, and community needs of any existing Planned Parenthood health center.

The Hub is a new waiting room experience that offers quiet nesting spaces for patient privacy.

Planned Parenthood hub sketch

Restorative Recovery Rooms
For women who are recovering from surgical procedures, small thoughtful details have a magnified positive impact. Redesigned recovery rooms have been separated into semi-private spaces, accommodating loved ones who want to join patients after a procedure. Soothing colors and soft, warm fabrics create a comforting environment, and service gestures including cards with words of support and encouragement from staff reinforce Planned Parenthood’s promise. A take-home kit provides clear information about what to expect during recovery and recommendations for follow-up care.

Unifying Employees
Because the heart of Planned Parenthood is its dedicated employees, we developed and launched an engagement and training program that provides staff with the tools and support they need to do their best work. In This Together, an employee engagement training, prepares staff to work with a vastly diverse community, reduce stigma around health choices, and empower patients to take control of their care. It’s based on a clearly defined set of workplace values and service standards, common goals that help employees across the global organization work together to provide top-notch experiences at every location.

Vision for the Future

These concepts are in varying stages of development, with plans to launch coming soon.

Patient-Physician Tool and Educational App
Visit Companion is a prototype for a suite of digital tools that help patients learn about their reproductive health choices and create personalized plans with their clinicians. While they wait, or anytime before a visit, patients can learn the answers to common questions related to their appointment and see side-by-side comparisons of their care options. The app uses familiar language and symbols to describe symptoms and side effects, and it provides a record of what was discussed during the visit as well as reminders for follow-up appointments.


The Visit Companion app helps patients understand their options, and allows for easy dialogue with care providers.

Planned Parenthood App

Simplified Medical Forms
For the 2 million-plus patients who visit Planned Parenthood health centers, there’s an opportunity to make appointments more convenient and straightforward. Currently in prototyping stages, Friendly Forms is an easy-to-understand, interactive digital questionnaire written in simple, conversational language that was designed by replicating how Planned Parenthood clinicians speak to their patients. The forms adapt as patients answer questions, giving only the prompts that are relevant. Patients will be able to complete Friendly Forms any time before their appointment, so it’s easier to complete the forms accurately.


Holistic Women’s Health Care
Women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their sexual and reproductive healthcare can benefit from having trusted clinicians guide their care throughout their lifetime. Through the Well Woman Plus program, Planned Parenthood will connect women to trusted providers for care beyond physical exams and birth control consultation. Clinicians will use interactive digital and physical tools to map out lifelong health care milestones and help patients think proactively about their future, from family planning to preventive screenings.

To learn more, go to PlannedParenthoodExperience.org.