photo of a young female doctor doing eye surgery

11 impressive examples of how to design healthcare experiences

November 2, 2022

We collected a few great practice examples from all over the world to demonstrate that sometimes it doesn’t take much effort to ease difficult situations – it just takes empathy and the knowledge of pain points.

Design thinking in healthcare is not only here to develop services that are shiny and exciting; it also helps to make unpleasant moments smoother and easier to consume. Using healthcare services is not something that people enjoy. In this field, design thinking is rather about improving patient experience by creating services that reduce insecurity and pain.

In the following examples you will get an impression of how service design can be used in healthcare to design patient experience.

1. The healthcare system is complex – but reducing insecurity can sometimes be pretty easy. Who can help with the question, the person wearing the yellow or the blue shirt?

2. Sometimes you’ve just got plenty of things to think about. Like when to take your next medicine. Wait, did you already take the daily dose?

3. Smart design thinking in healthcare can not only help patients, but also the system itself to communicate its needs.

4. Imagine you’re at the doctor’s, waiting in a queue. You’re truly sick and feeling weak. But you can’t take a seat because the chairs are too small for you. What a nightmare. 

5. There’s a lot of stigma connected to communicating issues of physical and mental health. But there are also many creative ways to work around them and make people feel more safe about sharing. 

6. Or like in this innovative example of design thinking in healthcare.

7. Kids are amongst the most vulnerable groups of patients. Pediatric wards is where we need design thinking in global healthcare the most. The way kids experience their first treatments can impact the mindset they develop towards healthcare services and shape them for their entire life.  Therefore, upgrading wheelchairs might sound unnecessary at first – but it can really make or break their lifetime healthcare experience. 

8. And then there are simpler conveniences that kids might need. Like toilets they can use independently and safely.

9. Another example of design thinking in public healthcare are doors that make children feel independent.

10. A little bit of distraction goes a long way in helping little patients calm down when being in stressful situations.

11. This project aimed at reducing neonatal mortality rate in rural Uttar Pradesh, India and won the award for National Best Practice in July 2017.

This is a link to a case study: Journey mapping in healthcare.
Click the image to read the whole case study.

12. And then, there’s the last impression you take away from a service delivery. A moment that can really make or break your entire experience.