Center for Design in Health
Current and past work ranges from designing
elements of stand-alone procedures to an entire redesign of processes
that permeate a system. Examples are briefly summarized below:
- Systematically analyzing and suggesting
recommendations for redesigning electronic medical records systems to
complement the needs of health care practitioners—to ease their work
flow rather than hinder it.
- Assessing and redesigning stand-alone practices such
as (1) the administration of heparin, and (2) assisting in the
development of a Code Caesarean-Section policy.
- Focusing on elements of complex procedures such as
(1) an analysis and redesign of the OR (operating room) count process
to prevent unintentionally retained foreign objects following
surgery, and (2) a focus on specimen handling procedures in ORs.
- Investigating and redesigning the work flow on
patient care units, with a focus on implementing effective and efficient
patient care and minimizing medication errors.
- Systematically analyzing and redesigning
hospital-wide procedures and the technology used in those procedures—an
example is our work with the Blood Bank where we are investigating
the process of blood administration, with a focus on ensuring
that patients receive the correct blood components.
- Assessing product design and functionality as
consultants in an IV pump selection process employing usability testing
of front line staff and other analyses.
- Assisting a consortium of health care organizations
from across the state [Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
(ICSI)] to design two protocols: one for developing a rigorous and
reliable count process for use in hospital ORs to prevent
unintentionally retained foreign objects (e.g, sponges and sharps)
following surgery and the other to prevent retained foreign
objects following vaginal delivery. The resulting protocols have been
recommended for implementation in hospitals across the state of
- A systematic analysis of the safe site surgery process at
eight different hospital facilities across Minnesota. Recommendations
have been made to make the safe surgery process more rigorous,
reliable, and effective so that the right patient gets the right
surgical procedure at the correct anatomical site. The Joint
Commission is allowing the recommended safe surgery process to be
piloted in Minnesota hospitals.