Enhancing Patient Safety is the result of Emily Carr’s 2013/14 partnership with Fraser Health Authorities. This project aims to change the culture of safety in hospitals by providing the tools to encourage an open dialogue between doctors, nurses, and patients. Enhancing Patient Safety aims to change the culture of safety in hospitals by providing the tools for patients and care teams to work collaboratively towards improved safety. Enhancing Patient Safety is based on innovative design research methodologies in which Emily Carr researchers, including faculty members Aitken and Deborah Shackleton, as well as Undergraduate Design students, worked directly with FH staff and patients to devise solutions. The resulting communication campaign includes a safety briefing video, a tablet based App for patients, and designs for interactive smartboards to be implemented across all Fraser Health locations.
In order to best understand the inner workings of care facilities such as those at Fraser Health, the team took great care in learning from those individuals working in the health field. Rather than design from an outside perspective, the students were taught to practice proper design researching methods. These included co-creation sessions with various members of staff and the public, ethnographic probes with current patients and phone interviews with current physicians at Fraser Health.
Through the research, it also became evident that the topic of patient safety in hospitals was not limited to the walls of healthcare facilities. The factors extend beyond hospitalization to include the education and attitudes of caregivers to the protocols surrounding patient discharge and aftercare. The goal of the project was to change the culture of safety in the hospital and provide tools to encourage open dialogue between doctors, nurses, and patients.
In order to reduce the rate of infection, falls, and medication errors within the hospital, patient engagement and interaction was key. This shift in the culture of healthcare was visualized using a Circle of Trust, which puts the patient at the centre–recognizing the patient as an essential component in his/her own health care.
The Health Design Lab and the University of British Columbia’s Dr. Darren Warburton and Dr. Shannon Bredin were recently awarded the CIHR grant “Addressing the Burden of Diabetes in Aboriginal Peoples Through Culturally Appropriate Interaction Design”.
The Health Design Lab assisted with the design of a tablet/smartphone application for prescriptive exercises towards the prevention of diabetes in Aboriginal peoples. Through the use of participatory design research methodologies to ensure a good understanding of the cultural context, a design solution was proposed for stronger expectation of exercise compliance than would be possible than with a more generic off-the-shelf design. This project was also a collaboration between the Health Design Lab and Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Program, led by Brenda Crabtree. Research Assistants for the project were 4th year students Gina Hetland and Stacey Hagel, who designed the first prototype..
The Health Design Lab collaborated with Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School on an exciting project to develop art and design teaching materials that facilitate creative learning by students with learning differences. ECUAD Research Assistant Caylee Raber has been working onsite at KGMS, observing, co-teaching with staff in as many different classes, age groups and teachers as possible. Data is being collected in pilot classes using an assessment instrument developed on site. The assessment aims to measure spatial reasoning ability and pre / post effects of intervention.
A secondary outcome of the project was the design of an app for students with dyslexia in collaboration with RA Brenna Randlett. The resulting iPad app leverages cooperative learning and interactive play as tools to practice essential reading techniques.
Vancouver Coastal Health and Emily Carr collaborated on methods to reduce communication errors at the point of nursing shift changes. Currently, the patient handoff procedure at each shift change is not standardized and involves the exchange of large amounts of written, verbal and statistical information within a brief period of time. The combination of information overload and short timeframes within a high stress environment creates an environment where mistakes can happen.
This problem was presented to third year communication design students and provided an opportunity to not only work with an industry partner outside of the classroom, but to also explore the rapidly expanding field of communication design beyond the traditional graphic design domains of branding, stationary and print publication.
Indeed, many students ventured into the realm of interaction design when exploring tablet-based solutions for the shift change handoff problem. Vancouver Coastal Health and Emily Carr University have a history of design collaboration, and this project further advances a partnership that both generates design solutions for the healthcare industry and learning outcomes for students.
In partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, Emily Carr’s Health Design Lab launched the Hand Hygiene project. This collaboration aimed to stimulate a behaviour change in the usage of hand-sanitizer dispensers and embed them as an integral part of daily life in the hospital. Using human-centred participatory methodologies, design research for this project involved co-creation workshops with health care personnel which fostered an empathic design solution. A team of student designers gained core insights into the cause of low hand hygiene compliance.
The results varied widely. In the end, VCH selected two projects for implementation, one print based and one interactive. Prototypes are currently installed at Vancouver General Hospital. The first includes humour as a core part of its message and such unusual (for a hospital) outcomes as elevator wraps. This project was managed by faculty Gilly Mah, and designed by students Katie Blank, Caitrin Wooton, and Tia Blunden.
The second is an interaction design that reaches users at the point of decision. By installing an Arduino device in a hygiene dispenser, we were able to connect the dispenser to a computer and large overhead monitor. The act of sterilizing one’s hands now triggers an amusing “bloop” sound and a graphic of a hand on the monitor. The hand slowly fades and becomes added to a graphic of all the other hands sterilized that day. This project was led by faculty Haig Armen, assisted by technician Bobbi Kozinuk and Jesse Scott, and created and conceptualized by students Gina Hetland, Cohen Pedersen-Wood, Grey Vaisius, Jill Southern, and Brandon Visser.
In September 2012, Emily Carr collaborated with Vancouver Coastal Health in investigating the problem space of caregiving for resident patients. Residential Care Assistants (RCAs) are responsible for patient care; bathing, toileting and other personal hygiene tasks, as well as moving patients. Ceiling lifts are in place to facilitate this process, however they are sometimes not used, or used incorrectly, resulting in many workplace injuries.
Under the supervision of Emily Carr faculty Deborah Shackleton and myself, design students Lan Yan, Craig Fleisch and Daisy Aylott researched and proposed a design solution to encourage safer work practices for RCAs. The team of designers used secondary research sources as well as conducting primary, participatory design methodologies with RCAs from the Vancouver area. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the frequency of lift use to improve health and safety, reduce the cost of injuries resulting from patient turning and repositioning and help foster a trusting and comfortable RCA-patient relationship.
The first demonstrationconsisted of two actors performing as they would in any theatre production without any type of captioning.
The same script was presented to the audience, as a hard of hearing person would experience with the actors whispering their lines inaudibly.
Developing on the previous experiment the actors were then accompanied by standard television captioning, to further convey the hard of hearing and deaf experience.
In this clip the actors continued to speak inaudibly, and were accompanied by kinetic typography displayed on screens behind them. The use of kinetic typography over standard captioning allowed the audience to recieve emotional and visual information absent from standard captioning.
In this demonstration both actors and kinetic typography matched emotionally to bring the spoken dialog to life.
A new script was presented with both actors accompanied by kinetic typography projected behind them.
One actor was removed from the presentation, leaving a single actor to interact with the typographic actor on screen. The typographic actor was accompanied by a pre-recorded audio track.
The audio track for the typographic actor was removed, leaving the actor respond to the silent screen.
Two separate fonts were used to differentiate the two typographic actors. A bold sans serif font was chosen for the first character to help personify her commanding personality. A slightly smaller, childish font was chosen to reflect the second character’s personality. Certain works in each of the lines was emphasized to deliver addition visual and emotional content.
Another recorded dialogue was animated using the same characters from the previous script. The overall size of the text was increased to make better use of space.
Working with a research assistant over the course of the summer the previous scripts were re-recorded with an increased dramatic intonation. Attempts to visually separate both characters was taken with the use of: drop shadows, new fonts, and size.
The use of effects was carefully considered to deliver the correct visual and emotional message. Certain movements like a shaking were used to emphasize emotions like anger, while decreased opacity reflected intonation and desperation.
To separate the typographic characters further, each character was given a visual “trait.” One character’s dialog was accompanied by various words, while the other was distinguished by a glow effect.