Holistic Designing For Home Care

In mid 2019, my team and I worked within the frames of interaction design practices and service design processes in collaboration with Innovation Skåne to design innovative service proposals for home care in Osby. We incorporated co-design methods to involve all related stakeholders and work collaboratively to explore more about person-centred care

Read Design Research

The Problem

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.

With our research question being how to help patients feel safe in their own accommodations, we conducted research on the definition of safety in the context of home care. Safety is a term often used in elderly care but is rarely discussed or defined. From our understanding, for home care to be safe in its definition by the patients, the patients need to be involved, have influence in their care, be self-determined and have choices.

Design Process

We interviewed patients from Malmö and Lönsboda, a care-assistant, and a MAS. When interviewing the patients, we observed the environment of patient’s homes.

Based on our interview findings, we made a user journey of the patient’s day and the patient’s interaction with the care-assistant. Also, a stakeholder map of the current home care in Osby. We sought to understand what feeling safe in their own homes meant to the patients and cover specific touchpoints and interactions with care-assistants which made patients feel safe or unsafe.

Are there other ways than orally communicating information? How can we promote a better understanding of patient and care-assistant? Can we help patients feel more engaged in their lives through home care?

Co-design

One goal of co-design and participatory design approach was to include the patient’s insight and coping mechanisms of their conditions as part of the service. These design opportunities 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. We also explored whether the patients saw themselves playing an active role in their own care, health, and wellbeing. Therefore we wished to extend this opportunity to make sure care-assistants understand and know these small, detailed, and specific needs of the patient’s without adding more workload to their already heavy work schedule.

We conducted an individual session with a patient who lived in Malmö.

Team and Role

From a service thinking point of view, practices were served to describe the interactions and connections between stakeholders, resources, etc. This perspective allowed us to gaze its context holistically. As interaction designers, we were presented with numerous challenges taking on the role of service designers through said design case. By the premises of a typical design process, we began by uncovering all aspects of the context through intensive research, only to discover an extensive ‘ecology’ whereas products, spaces, and laws played in harmony to coherently deliver a service experience for the patients.

─ My most memorable moments came off the latter phases as design ideas emerged through various activities of verbal discussions and messy sketches.

Methods

Secondary Research

Stakeholder Map

Contextual interview

Semi-structured interview

User Persona

Brainstorming

Concept Sketching

Co-design

User Testing

User Journey Mapping

Service Blueprint

Storyboarding

Wireframing

Mockup

Notebook sketches

Simplified service blueprint of Kaländra

Messy dirty ideas and comments on white board

Initial storyboard of Kaländra mobile app

Initial user flows of Kaländra mobile app

Concept development

Our proposed concept was a confirmation system, a mobile application the patients could use to send schedule change requests to the home care system and receive confirmations. From our research, we found that there exists inconsistency in orally communicated information between patients and nursing staff, in particular to the patient’s schedule. The current home care service offers patients to ask for schedule changes through the phone. This information was verbally communicated without physical evidence of communication, so the patients were left to having to ask again whether the changes were made or not.

It was also a good opportunity to explore different communication methods as the content on the app would act as the physical evidence of the written and visual information shared between the patient and the nursing staff. Finally, to approach this issue, we would need to learn about the patients’ daily schedules, a chance to gather deeper insight into patients lifestyle not covered by home care. From this, user personas were made.

Outcome

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.

User flow of Kaländra service proposal

Tri-fold brochure and A4 paper mockup of Kaländra service proposal