DESIGN FOR INDIAN PUBLIC HEALTHCARE
Pragya Mishra and I are currently working on our thesis which is focussed on the public healthcare system in India. The doctor to patient ratio in Indian government hospitals in 1:1800 which leads to a high volume of patient in hospitals and tremendous pressure on the doctors. Based on our research and insights, we narrowed down our direction to reducing the waiting time for patients in the hospital to see the doctor.
HOW CAN WE CREATE AN EMPATHETIC SYSTEM IN THE PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN INDIA TO IMPROVE THE INTERACTION BETWEEN DOCTORS AND PATIENT BY MAKING EFFICIENT USE OF THEIR TIME?
We are using design thinking and human centered design approach to bring in fresh perspective to solve this complex problem in a rigid system. We have tested and developed a volunteer-based model to guide patients in the hospital. By the end of May 2015, we will have an open-source toolkit for hospitals or consultants to implement this model.
Pragya Mishra was the lead researcher at GB Pant, Delhi in August 2014. Through interviews and observation with doctors, staff members and patients, many problems were identified. These problems were widespread and relevant to most government hospitals across the country.
From September till November 2014, we continued to research, now directed towards reducing patient waiting time at the hospital as this was one of the greatest pain points. We began ideating and developing strategies keeping the demographics of the stakeholders and the constraints of this complex system in mind.
The themes emerging from the ideation process were of strategic use of technology, resources and information to use time efficiently. We analyzed these ideas by measuring them against scales on excel sheets.
During this time, we also conducted validation interviews to include the opinions of experts from the healthcare and design sector. This led us to gravitate towards the idea of creating a volunteer-based guidance system.
We then identified profiles of potential volunteers and interviewed them to get a sense of their motivations.
We followed the advise that came through one of the interviews, to prototype small experiments instead of the entire model at a time. We designed these experiments to answer specific questions that we had about how our model would work in the hospital.
In December we went to India to prototype in two government hospitals in Indore and Delhi. In Indore we played the role of volunteers to guide the patients by providing them critical information to identify the needs, motivations and problems of a potential volunteer.
In Delhi we had a team of 9 volunteers. We designed toolkits to equip them with resources that they might need on the ground. We facilitated a feedback session with them later to gain insights from their experience.
Currently we are in the process of synthesizing our learnings and feedback from this prototyping experience in India. During this process, we have learnt that this model is, and will be, effective based on one of the many critical insights that people yearn for human interactions in stressful situations like being in the hospital.
You can view our latest presentation here. Please contact us for more details or feedback on the project!