Towards a Better Medicare Experience : Creating a sublime environment for doctors
At the end of the workshop, the doctors were able to understand the importance of Human-Centricity for better patient insights thus enhancing the patient expereince.
Additionally, they also understood the importance of “Appreciating” the best practices practised by their colleagues/peers which hitherto went unnoticed in their daily hustle-bustle.
- The General Manager of the Cancer Institute came along with five senior Oncologists for this workshop.
- The half-day workshop was anchored by Arun Jain (Chairman & MD, Intellect) at 8012 FinTech Design Center.
- The Design Center walkthrough educated the participants about the importance of Design and Design Thinking.
About the client
The client is one of India’s oldest cancer care centers. The inception of the institution started in a hut with four beds. Established in 1954, when cancer was regarded as a disease destined by fate, this facility today is one of the most sought-after cancer hospitals in the nation with over 550 beds treating nearly 600 patients everyday irrespective of social/economic status.
The institute offers complete care, cure, compassion and commitment meeting the needs of patients from all demographics – rich and poor, urban and rural. Of the hospital beds, only 40% are paying beds and the remaining are for patients who are boarded and lodged free of cost. 40% of the patients are treated totally free and remaining patients pay only a nominal amount.
The institute also comprises of a comprehensive research division, a college of oncological sciences and a division of preventive oncology that provides scientifically advanced treatment to one and all.
Purpose of the workshop
The purpose of the half-day workshop was to identify the challenges faced by the institute and to improve the overall patient experience in the institute. As a significant step in addressing the above challenges, a team of senior oncologists headed by the General Manager of the institute, visited the Design Center to learn about and leverage Design Thinking.
Our workshop included a mix of Design Thinking theory & usage of Design Tools to gain more insights about the present state of affairs & what can be done in the best possible way to enhance the patient experience. The insights of the tools led us to conclude that the management of the institute does not have a well-defined hierarchical structure. They have designations at the top level, but lower down the designations are ambiguous. The operational strength of the institute was under staffed and the current staff was over worked with no time left for training or other enhancements. Incidentally, the awareness campaigns conducted in the past have resulted in a spectacular number of increase in patients. However, the institute need more inflow of the funds and resources to support this influx of patients.
Over the years the number of paid patients dwindled due to multiple reasons. Nurses as well as administrative staff needed an uplift in communication skills and most importantly they needed to exhibit Empathy towards the patients or the patients’ family members. Attrition rates are also very high among nurses. Though the institute attracts many paying customers as they offer the best possible treatment, yet they complain of bad experience or leave during mid treatment.
Outcome of the exercise
It was understood from the workshop that the challenges faced by the Cancer Institute on a day-to-day basis require the attention of senior management at every stage. There is a real need for change in the thought process & more importantly bring a Empathy-Driven culture into the organization. The General Manger of the institute agreed to this and was willing to garner the support from the top management to begin the change initiative. As a part of this focused Design Thinking workshop, two low hanging fruits were immediately identified. One was to create an atmosphere of calmness in an otherwise serious environment. Hospitals, especially cancer hospitals, are places that exude tremendous amount of apprehension and anxiety. Playing soothing music in the background, especially when a surgery is being performed can help settle the minds of the surgeon and everybody present in the theater. The second is to effectively use the power tool called appreciation to acknowledge the good work being done at every level in the institute. This not only improves good relations, but also may aid in reducing attrition.