Experiencing a Time for Change

Last week, we announced an evolution of our brand, from Nurture by Steelcase to Steelcase Health. With it, we introduced our new Time for Change: New Solutions for Healthcare Places Insights and Applications guide. And it has been very well received.

In the guide, we go through it all: the macro issues facing healthcare today, the tensions we discovered during our 15,000 hours of research and observation, and we dig into some of our insight-led applications and the design principles and insights behind them.

A Radical Transformation

We believe that engaging patients in health has become a new clinical paradigm. As the focus of healthcare expands beyond treating illness to include achieving wellness and wellbeing, the experience of health is changing too. Processes are becoming more collaborative and less directive, as patients and their families become more actively involved, and teaching and learning are becoming more integral to the healthcare experience. New technologies are a major factor as well, offering clinicians and patients alike new ways to interact with information.

Corroborating our research is the PSFK Future of Health report. They recently touched on technology’s growing importance in healthcare:

While medical and technology experts debate how to drive down escalating costs and whether or not wearable technology will be the next big thing in health and wellness, tablet computers are playing a bigger role in the evolution of healthcare.

Laptops, tablets and smartphones are common sights inside the doctor’s office, but it’s the widespread use of these mobile devices by people, in their homes and while on the go in their everyday lives, that is also pulling health and wellness services into the future.

Sara Marberry recently wrote a blog post inspired by our new Insights and Applications guide, titled 5 Key Insights to Inform Hospital Waiting Area Design. In it, she recounts a waiting experience she had, and details the good and the not-so-good aspects of her experience.

Her observations support what we discovered through ours. We realized that when designed around people’s needs, hospital waiting spaces can help create better experiences by fostering more meaningful uses of time and increasing patient’s confidence that they are receiving high-value care. The insights:

1. The addition of technology empowers meaningful waiting

2. Physical and emotional comfort is important when people are waiting

3. Waiting is an ideal opportunity to educate people about good health

4. People naturally seek separation from strangers and proximity to family while waiting

5. Active, productive waiting calls for a variety of environments

As Sara so graciously 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?”

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