Rethinking routines for hospital patients

Stavanger University Hospital (SUS)

Designing empathetic healthcare services - SUS2023

In 2024, a new, modern hospital will be completed at Ullandhaug in Stavanger. This will result in Stavanger University Hospital (SUS) having two locations, one to cater for out-patients and one for in-patients. This significant change provides an excellent opportunity to re-think established routines, such as how healthcare staff collaborate and how to ensure the best possible relationship between patients and medical specialists. EGGS worked with SUS to meet these criteria, to deliver an outstanding, more compassionate healthcare service.

Defining the 2024 daycare unit

In close collaboration with Stavanger University ’s core team, EGGS set out to enhance all future 2024 service offerings at the hospital’s daycare unit. The goals were as follows:

  • Discover what patients and their families believe is essential when meeting with healthcare staff (nurses, doctors and surgeons) to create and offer better, more sympathetic services.

  • Find ways to break down silos between departments in the hospital to promote closer cooperation and less information hierarchy.

  • Educate the core team in service design methods to place patients at the heart of future service developments.

We presented the insight we obtained through workshops and interviews on large posters, displayed in corridors and recreational rooms, helping healthcare staff become more engaged and aware.

Employee and patient involvement as key driver for innovation

As a part of the New SUS transition, the hospital has defined user involvement of both patients and staff as critical drivers for renewal and improvement in the health services. Moving into new hospital spaces means new ways of working. To adopt new working methods, the hospital is involving employees as much as possible. The belief is that the right working conditions for employees will provide the best possible experience for the users of the hospital.

We made all our user-insights available to healthcare staff. Key findings included patients wanting them to be more sympathetic. Also, for there to be greater efficiency and communication with healthcare staff across different departments.

40% reduction of waiting time

To transform ideas into initiatives, we held design sprints with healthcare staff. These sprints led to the opening of a new wound diagnostic centre in February 2019. This was initially a pilot where the focus was on how to help patients who struggled with wounds. Since then, the new wound centre has been a success, both in terms of staff satisfaction, as well as in terms of reducing waiting time for patients. In 2019, the average waiting time was 23,4 days. In 2020, the same number has fallen to 14 days - a reduction of 40%.

EGGS facilitated throughout the different phases of the process. The healthcare staff's planning expertise helped escort us through a maze of organizational know-how concerning the hospital's working environment, thus bridging the gap between designers and medical specialists.

The goal was to ensure that this patient-group got faster, better assessment and quicker treatment, thereby avoiding any further degeneration or chronic issues.

We created a detailed process guide, which sums up everything conceived and carried out during the project, so healthcare staff can refer to it while conducting further innovative work.

Feeling safe and empowered

Many patients didn't express health-related concerns to be their most pressing concern when at the hospital.

They expected and felt they were met with consistent and high levels of physical treatment. However, their most pressing concern and wish were for healthcare staff to show more compassion and for better communication and collaboration-efficiency between medical specialists and the different departments. “Feeling safe” and “empowered” were keywords the patients conveyed.

This insight is especially significant in light of the current health trends:

  • There is an increase in people with chronic diseases.

  • The population is aging.

  • The available resources for health care have to serve a larger group of patients.

  • Emerging technology and digitalisation offers new opportunities for healthcare.

The new demands on how hospitals should offer treatment and follow-ups meant it was crucial that we complied and empathized with people's different needs and situations.

Patients would like better empathy and information when being treated. They wish to be seen both as a patient and an individual. And to be included in their treatment plans.
Kristian Leitao, Doctor and Project Manager, New SUS Organizational Development

Bridging professions through co-creation

Everyone on the core team has been closely collaborating on every aspect of the project, from conducting insight with patients and healthcare staff, analysing and articulating ideas, to planning and implementing the pilot. This co-creation was crucial for the project’s success. EGGS facilitated the process. The healthcare staff's planning expertise helped escort us through a maze of organizational know-how concerning the hospital's working environment, thus bridging the gap between designers and medical specialists.

With the construction of the new hospital, SUS will ensure the future of specialist health services for the people of South Rogaland. The buildings will be taken into use in 2024.

Sounds interesting?

Annie Feddersen Hjelmervik

Get in touch with Lead Designer
Annie Feddersen Hjelmervik
+47 934 33 276

Åshild Drønen Herdlevær

Have a chat with our Senior Designer
Åshild Drønen Herdlevær
+47 926 83 698

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