Designing for the patient experience in hospitals is a frequent topic of discussion in the industry, but what about designing for community clinics?
Minneapolis-based Associate Vice President and Senior Medical Planner at HGA, Nancy Doyle, has 25 years of experience directing programming and medical planning for a range of healthcare projects, from national and international academic medical centers to community clinics. She holds expertise in directing programming, medical planning, Lean design, Evidence-Based Design and sustainable strategies. She also works with healthcare systems, physician groups and other stakeholders to translate health system goals into planning strategies that improve operational effectiveness, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. HC+O spoke with Doyle to discuss the variances, challenges and strategies in designing for the patient experience in community clinics.
Q: What are the specific patient-centric design elements and strategies used in community clinics? How do they help improve the patient experience?
Doyle: Community Clinics are generally a highly visible and integral part of that locale. It’s a symbol of the well-being of the community and often a gathering point in the neighborhood. Anything we can do as designers to gather input from the neighborhood, family and patient advocate groups helps to strengthen the bond between the healthcare facility and the community. Simple gestures such as purposefully incorporating a hitching post in an Amish community and signage in multiple languages will go a long way in fostering community and improved patient experience.