reboot patient nurse interaction
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

reboot patient nurse interaction

In the module "reboot design technology" at ZHdK we were asked "what you would like to reboot?" (in your studies, life, design field, in societal conventions, etc..)As someone who is very interested in the healthcare sector for me this was an easy question. We need to reboot healthcare.

Then I started thinking about where to start and realised, that healthcare is an extremely complex construct. There are thousands of medical departments that have to work together specifically to the patients situation. Furthermore there are workers for the infrastructure, finance, gastronomy, transportation and many more.

At some point I remembered the odd form about a „stress thermometer“ a patient received from the nurse. You have to tick, how stressed you are in the hospital and whether you are worrying about in some areas of life or not.

the odd questionnaire "stress thermometer"

I personally find this shocking, because the direct patient nurse interaction is more and more streamlined away or undesigned. In a study answered by nurses 73% said that the future development in the next 10 years of „good personal contact with the patients“ is declining.

source: "Wie Pflegende am Arbeitsplatz zufriedener werden" – Prof. Dr. Holger Buxel

It is also interesting, that the top two reasons why nurses became nurses are „Job where you usually work on and with people“ and „Possibility of helping other people“. It is therefore crucial to keep this interaction between patient and nurse alive.

source: "Wie Pflegende am Arbeitsplatz zufriedener werden" – Prof. Dr. Holger Buxel

In my personal experience, when I was working as a care assistant in the hospital, the most beautiful moments are the human moments. Laughing, gratitude and being able to help and support.

But where is the reboot button?

In my opinion the reason for the situation we are in is a structural problem. The patients interests and wishes are basically not represented in todays hospital management. I only found one hospital that has a „customer care“ worker represented in their directorate organisation chart.

But I think walking in at the next meeting, stating that we need a „patient interest director“ and spend more money on patient well-being will not work. I think a good way to start would be subtle changes in the everyday life of hospital staff. Improving the situation they work in.

Therefore I created some mini-design ideas, that make aware of potential improvements. At the end those mini-designs should create hope for change.