2014 in Review: A Time for Change in Healthcare

2014 has been a banner year for Steelcase Health, and in healthcare in general. Let’s take a look back at what we’ve discussed.

First, we changed our brand name and identity to Steelcase Health. Steelcase Health continues to advance our core belief in the power of place to deliver greater connection, empathy and wellbeing for everyone involved in the experience of health. We study the places that support health, and then we deliver insights, applications and solutions to create moments that can lead to change – moments that enhance interactions and engagement between clinicians, patients and families.

There are radical transformations occurring in healthcare, no surprise in an industry where over $1 trillion is spent annually with no discernable effect on patient experience or outcome.

We think there are three primary tensions between the reality of today’s healthcare system and the promise of tomorrow’s:

  1. A shift from a volume-based model to a value-based model.
  2. Healthcare participants are shifting from a passive to a more active role in their care.
  3. Siloed healthcare processes are becoming more open, characterized by collaborative interactions.

Read more about these three tensions, as explained by Steelcase Health General Manager Rob Heitmeier.

Shortly after our brand transition, we released Time for Change: New Solutions for Healthcare Places, a comprehensive look at some of our insight-led applications and the design principles and insights behind them. As Sara Marberry put it: “It’s quite simple, really — just follow Steelcase Health’s suggested design principles: design for the human factor and integrate the experiences. That works for just about any type of project, doesn’t it?”

We also took a closer look at several of the healthcare environments detailed in Time for Change:

Exam roomThe exam room is at the center of the healthcare experience. It’s no longer just a place for medical exams and treatments – it’s also a space where consulting, learning, and person-to-person sharing happens. Whether in a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, a surgery center or the emergency room, exam rooms are hard-working, high-functioning spaces that support the activities and relationships that create connected, satisfying and effective health experiences.

  • Check out these 7 exam room hacks for a better clinical environment.
  • After all, physical exams are still a crucial part of the future of healthcare.
  • Read this Steelcase 360 article for a look at how exam rooms can create a person-to-person connection and boost both patient and clinician engagement.

Clinician workspaces: Whether it’s a welcome area where family, consulting physicians or other visitors can escape the activity of the floor, or a collaboration space that can function for a shift-change meeting, a quick huddle or a teaching/learning exchange, the versatility and functionality of clinician workspaces is absolutely crucial and can make a real difference in the lives of clinicians and their patients.

Patient room: Understanding the many activities that occur in patient rooms is the basis of people-centered, evidence-based design solutions. When the elements of people, place, and technology are all considered, the result can be patient rooms that connect people and information effectively, empower patient healing and support the wellbeing of everyone who uses the space. The result is simple: better, more connected care.

Throughout 2014, we sought to keep you updated on other Steelcase Health happenings as well. One prime example was Designing for the Human Experience: Steelcase Health’s Nationwide Road Trip. Over the course of 13 events in 13 different cities, the goal was to share research and insights Steelcase Health has found around human-centered design in healthcare. The interactive sessions featured the Empath recliner and taught attendees about connected care and insights-driven design principles, while demonstrating the impact physical space can have on a person’s health. Read dispatches from the nationwide tour here and here.

Another priority this year was to talk about the patient journey, and the transitional moments that many experience along the way. Patients often run into feelings of isolation, disconnection, and discomfort, and a seating solution like Regard, that incorporates technology, research-based insights on the efficient use of common areas, and supports multiple postures, can help to mitigate those issues.

It’s a versatile product too! Read this post about Regard at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Join us next week as we take a look back at the events and conferences we attended this year.

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