University Project Malmö University, Service Design
Tasks My focus was on managing the design thinking process , including planing workshop sessions. Later I built the prototype, created the video and wrote the reports.
Team Karl Söderby, Kristina Arnold, Jonas Drewling, Lucas Stenberg
In cooperation between Malmö University and the Innovation Center Region Skåne, the aim of this project was to develop a design proposition to support the communication between relatives of patients enrolled in the municipal health care program, and the municipality itself. The municipal health care program offers support for patients that are over the age of 75, typically suffering from cognitive diseases such as dementia, with the focus of the project being on Perstorp, a municipality with 7’000 residents in the northern region of Skåne, Sweden.
Caretaking relatives are defined in the framework of this project as stakeholders that care for a close family member more than once per week and typically live with that person in the same household.
In order to identify new service design opportunities for our focus group, insights into the ecosystem that surround the caretaking relative including the municipality, the home care service and the relative support center, are gathered through interviews and a co-design workshop, as well as desk research.
" What kind of channels and digital tools would
the municipality be able to use to support
communication with relatives for patients
who are enrolled in municipal health care? "
After desk research, the team looked at the municipality of Perstorp, analysing through interviews first the municipality with their communication systems and then existing services that are in place for the relatives.
The interviews took place in Perstorp, Lund, Malmö and also on the phone. After every interview, we analyzed the notes to get the main insights out of the interviews. We started the first Stakeholder Map before and the first User Journey map after the first interview. Over time we updated these maps and added an empathy map and persona.
All of the data we collected from interviews and desk research were later compressed into problems, which we presented at the co-design workshop that we held with various participants in the municipality of Perstorp. At the co-design workshop we narrowed these problems down to define focus areas and problem opportunities with the help of both relatives of patients and staff of the municipality
After the Co-Design workshop we started the ideation phase, in which we realized that the best solution would be a new communication system including an app connected to a desktop platform. We prototyped that idea, had a first feedback over the phone, made a few changes and had an user testing in Perstorp. After that the final changes were made and we built the video prototype to show our created version to the Innovation Skåne Team.
We used a few different methods for analysing the interview and reserach data. First the Stakeholder map, which we had to update a few times after the interviews and made us realize, that not the patient or the partner are our main user but the relative care taker.
The User Journey Mapping of the Patient showed, that the stress level the relative experiences and the emotions that are felt during different stages of the service are very important, because this is when they need the communication with the relative care taker the most.
The Actors map shows the connections between the stakeholders highlighting the important roles in the service. It is an overview that focuses on the three main stakeholders, represented by the red circles. Arguably the activity that goes on between the red circles is most important and we can see how other aspects of the service come into the scenario, represented by the orange and light red circles.
Our method of interviewing was quite simple, we had one set of open questions, generally used for all interviews, followed up by specific questions, that were more appropriately targeted at the interviewees profession. The aim was to get the conversation started, let the interviewee be the driving force. Over the course of a month, we managed to organize several meetings with both relatives of patients and staff in the municipality of Perstorp, but also people from other regions of Skåne. The aim of these interviews was to get diverse views from multiple stakeholders, in order to collect as much data and insights as possible and to ultimately get a good perspective on what kind of problems that occur frequently in the day to day lives for the stakeholders involved. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders .
The workshop consisted of four participants which also represent our main stakeholders in this project, which are the relative care taker of Perstorp, two relatives living in Perstorp and the woman organising the home care service. The first activity was for the participants first to write down their “Pains and Gains” on post it notes and then to cluster these problems and categorize them on our chart.
From there we emphasized discussion of the identified problems and insights, eventually getting to the most important aspects of the whole process. Although we hadn’t planned on including implementation and proposition stages in this workshop, we ended up discussing “How might we?” scenarios due to the fact that the workshop flow was very good and the participants wanted to explain their thoughts.
PROPOSED REDESIGNED SERVICE
While many different problems had been identified throughout the field research, it is especially the provision of a safety net and reaching relatives earlier with support services as well as the missing documentation of processes that are tackled with the redesign. The relative care taker today deals with 100 relatives a month without using any official documentation besides the paper calendar and a paper tally sheet.
The redesign aims at enhancing a continuous bond and communication between the relative and the municipalities relative support and hereby strengthen the psychological support as well creating a safety net for relatives by identifying needs much earlier. The early touchpoints that are introduced in the redesigned service shall inform potential users of the service before the need even arises so the contact to the support office could be established earlier and awareness can be created for the service.
With the proposed solution, a safety net shall be created
for the relative, so that help is being
provided earlier before a home- care situation escalates.
Once the relative has entered the service journey by establishing contact to the relative support office, the link is being strengthened by creating a platform profile and introducing the app for either phone or Ipad. By providing a tool to observe the own situation in a continuous way aims to tackle the issue of the lack of a safety net for relatives for when help is needed urgently. Having a close contact with the support office may tackle gaps and needs much faster. In addition, the app aims to enhance the psychological support felt by a relative for being connected to the support worker and by being heard and acknowledged.
The suggested redesign of the service aims to enhance time spend by the municipality to personally provide this psychological support, something that cannot be given only via digital tools. By freeing up time for personal service, the support relatives receive is hoped to improve their caretaker burden.
The apps as well as the platform also provide anonymous tools to exchange thoughts with the caretaker from the municipality, hereby reducing shame while receiving the needed information in the appropriate stages of the disease. The platform will also help to tackle specific need for getting relatives into contact with each other based on the stages and situations their are in, as the municipal caretaker can better estimate their needs due to the insights gathered through the app. The redesign will hence support offering more close and personalized care to relatives.
We believe that a bigger involvement of the relatives
in the design process is required for the project
to go further, as they are the experts
on their own life and experiences.
The platform for the relative care taker provides an overview of all relatives she’s in contact with as well as a calendar. From there, individual profiles and new messages can be accessed, an own schedule created and an overview of the next weeks and months gathered.
Also the relative care taker can get an overall view of who the relative. Every time the relative sends an update over the phone app, there is a notifications and the update is registered in the relatives profile.
MOBILE & TABLET APPLICATION
The application for the relative has a simple structure and design. The user has different options to choose from on the main screen, starting with the status update, with four questions which can be answered with yes or no. Subsequently, there is a screen to add notes or a voice message for the relative care taker. After submitting, the last screen shows a confirmation of the status update and reminds of the next steps, for example the next appointment.
Another option on the main screen is to take a look in the diary for the last appointments, status updates and notes, to self-reflect the past days or weeks. Finally, the relative can call the relative care taker directly or send a text message over the app from the main screen.