How might we help healthcare professionals to think like service designers?

Service design approaches are becoming commonplace within healthcare because they can help teams to put users at the heart of service improvements, to test, learn and iterate on ideas quickly, and to make less costly mistakes. 

There is so much work to do but not enough service designers available to do the work.

Perhaps the solution is to teach healthcare professionals to think like service designers?

We’re frequently asked to support and coach delivery teams in service design practices that help them to understand the whole problem, identify areas where improvements can be made and to prototype potential solutions to them.

By supporting healthcare providers, local digital teams and other NHS staff to understand the value of service design and how the techniques and principles can identify, prioritise and help roll out improvements to services, we can give them the confidence to implement effective interventions themselves, so in effect the services start to heal themselves.

But how realistic is it to expect overworked healthcare professionals to work in this way and should there be this expectation? 

Will it really lead to better outcomes for the system, its workers and for patients? 

Can we expect them to have the space and time to build these skills and resources to make this bold idea a reality?

Nicola Pritchard and James Chudley are running a workshop at UX Healthcare in London to explore these important questions and share our learnings from trialing this approach with the NHS where we’ve been coaching mental health professionals to apply service design practices to improve physical health outcomes for people with severe mental illness. 

In our workshop we’ll identify the things that have helped us all to develop our service design skills and mindsets and think about what needs to be true within the NHS for healthcare professionals to be able to do the work that we do.

Join Nicola and James at their workshop ‘How might we help clinicians to think like service designers’ on the 20th June at UX Healthcare by getting your tickets today. Alternatively, get in touch to discuss a bespoke workshop for your organisation to learn the techniques mentioned above.

James is responsible for leading user-centred design projects across all industry sectors, and also runs cxlabs. He has written two UX books, speaks regularly at international conferences, and co-founded UXBristol.