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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston

Conference Press

12 Ways to Improve the Healthcare User Experience

By Brian Eastwood

Article Published on April 08, 2013 -

BOSTON—When you think about it, the patient empowerment movement makes plenty of sense. The average doctor visit is only seven minutes, notes Amy Cueva, CEO, co-founder and healthcare principal of experience design firm Mad*Pow, but patients are in their bodies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In essence, she says, we are our own primary care physicians.

With 80 percent of healthcare costs related to patient lifestyle choices, it can be argued that we're not doing a very good job. As Cueva puts it, the pendulum needs to swing from treating sickness to ensuring health, to helping patients "proactively manage" sleep, stress, diet and mental health in order to foment behavior change.

It only makes sense, then, for the people designing the technology that makes health management possible to consult the people who will use that technology. At the recent Healthcare Experience Design conference, of which Cueva is the chairwoman, attendees learned 12 strategies for improving the healthcare user experience.

Understand the Problem You're Trying to Solve

Healthcare leaders often struggle to define innovation, especially when it comes to delivering value, says Ryan Armbruster, vice president of innovation competency at UnitedHealth Group. The trouble is that they start with ideas when, instead, they should start by trying to understand the healthcare problems that they need to solve. The idea, and the realization of that idea, will follow.

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