Our scope was confined within the framing of what kind of (digital) services the municipality would be able to use for the user/close relatives to feel safe with the care in their own accommodation.
Elderly patients within home care often face limitations for their medical conditions and need continuous care in their own accommodations. This means receiving various forms of support, such as security measures efforts, help with practical tasks, and medical support. We began with conducting design research on the definition of safety in the context of home care to secure relevance and appropriateness for our future design choices.
Secondary research together with mind mapping was used to unpack the topic of safety (what, why, how) and our field (who, where, when). Our understanding of safety for patients was categorized into four factors: proximity, confirmation, having routine, and individuality. As part of our fieldwork and design research, we interviewed patients from Malmö and Lönsboda, a care-assistant, and a MAS.
Based on our findings, we made a user journey map of the patient’s day and the patient’s interaction with the care-assistant. Also, a stakeholder map of the current home care in Lönsboda, Osby. We sought to cover specific pain points and interactions with care-assistants which made patients feel safe or unsafe.
One issue identified was the lack of support for more accurate, transparent communication. Relying mostly on oral communication to share information from patients to home care and vice versa is risky as oral communications are liable to misinterpretations, failure of retaining information, and forgetting to share the information.
Our purpose of a co-design and participatory design approach for the remaining half of our design process was to include the patient’s insight and coping mechanisms of their conditions as part of the service. Our research led to design opportunities that could support patients to maintain their lifestyle at their own accommodations. Bearing that in mind, we suggested incorporating self-care approaches and strategies from the patients. We aimed to explore what patients can do or are willing to do by themselves.
As the process expanded, our design case became progressively more complex where we discovered an extensive ’ecology’ whereas products, spaces, and policies played in harmony to coherently deliver a service experience for the patients. Moreover, the magnitude of the parties involved made it nearly impossible to unfold any nuanced behaviours. Also, as touchpoints were often ’touched’ by more than just the patients, there was an underlying need for addressing all stakeholders during the ideation phase to comprehend the impact of all touchpoints within our patient journey.
For these reasons, our design process progressed unifiedly and carefully. All designs decisions were made democratically. My role in the team and competence was most noticeably in the making of patient journey maps (before and after), leading activities like mind mapping and concept development, framing of design opportunities, and manage secondary research.
Extending from our first design opportunity, one of the concepts was a confirmation system which allowed the patients to send schedule change requests to the home care system.
In the end, we decided to move forward with the opportunity of proposing solutions to the inconsistency found in orally communicated information between patients and nursing staff, in particular to the patient's schedule. This was evident as a dissatisfied pain point in our interviews. Our service proposal was Kaländra, a multi-channel service which provided patients with three ways of requesting schedule change and receiving schedule change confirmations. These options involved the using of Kaländra mobile application, calling home care staff, or filling out a schedule request change form. The schedule change requests were thought to be handled by the office as well as the support process by TES database, a database that supports the patient’s schedule information.
Once the request had been received and processed, the consumer would get a confirmation by a message in the app, updated form, automatic calls or messages, or verbally from the care-assistant. Through this multi-channel approach, we sought to cover patients with both technical and non-technical backgrounds. The goal of Kaländra was to give patients the freedom to choose a schedule change request method that was most convenient for them and help them making schedule changes less burdensome.