MAKETOOLS Design Sprint & Workshop

Design Research / Co-Design / Healthcare /  Rapid Prototyping / Workshop

Led by: Dr. Elizabeth Sanders, Rankin Scholars in Residence at Drexel University, 2023
Work type: Co-Design Workshop, 6 Hr. Design Sprint
Role:  Graduate Design Research Participant
Dates:  Winter 2023

Group 1: Patient Experience Design, Penn Center for Healthcare Innovation

Workshop Overview

MakeTools rapid ideation for a 3D 2-way journey map.

The workshop prompt...

“How might we create a better patient experience related to their data?”

Our team dove deeper...

How might we improve the patient data experience by understanding the quality and frequency of engagement between patients and their primary care professionals?"

Source: The Washington Post

"Primary care doctors, also known as general practitioners or family doctors, are supposed to be the first to see patients, catching potential problems early. They treat relatively simple problems themselves or send their patients on to specialists.

In the United States, there is little incentive to work in primary care...

Despite being a specialist, Triglione, the Italian cardiologist, said he found the low status of American primary care doctors jarring. In Italy, these doctors are the central hub of the health-care system, seeing patients regularly for years and earning more than most specialists."

- The Washington Post

Group 1 discussion and note taking.

In the U.S., life expectancy is falling behind peer countries. Our discussion with a multinational team of designers and researchers, the American students were surprised to learn about how other countries' patient-doctor relationships differed (frequency of engagement, quality of care, depth of patient history knowledge, etc). We also debated some of the reasons why the complexities of our healthcare system might interfere with better care, including data retention and use.

Workshop Activities

This 6-hour design sprint was led by Dr. Elizabeth Sanders, and hosted by Drexel University, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, in collaboration with Penn University Center for Healthcare Innovation. Dr. Elizabeth Sanders is an associate professor at Ohio State University specializing in participatory design research and generative design thinking. She is the author of The Convivial Toolbox: Generative Research for the Front End of Design. She is also the founder of MAKETOOLS, a company that explores new spaces in emerging design landscapes. Dr. Sanders speaks and conducts workshops about participatory design research, collective creativity, and transdisciplinarity all over the world.
Concept mapping exercise.

The various design challenges engaged over 60 people, divided into 12 groups of students, designers, and community members to co-design solutions for healthcare data, emergency patient intake, intergenerational home-sharing, and elder mental healthcare access for Philadelphia residents.
I was part of Group #1, a 6-person multi-national team of designers, researchers, scientists, and Philadelphia residents. We started the workshop by engaging in thoughtful discussion surrounding two "how might we..." statements.

Activity 1: Discussion 
(1 hour)

Workshop provided prompts,

“How might we create a better patient experience related to their data?”

“How can we achieve a connected healthcare ecosystem?”

The team shared our individual experiences with healthcare systems and data retention to gain a more comparative understanding of patient-doctor relations and data collection globally.

Concept mapping exercise.

After our discussion and in response to the initial prompts, our team asked:

“How might we encourage patients to interact more frequently with their doctors, before they hit their lowest?”

“How can we create relationships between patients and doctors that feel more like a trusted friend?”

“What happened to the concept of the “family doctor” and intergenerational medical care?”

“How might we bridge the communication gaps between science and the public?”

“How might we create more physical and digital pathways for consistent engagement with healthcare professionals throughout our life, subsequently creating a better healthcare experience, and better retention of data?”

"How might we improve the patient data experience by improving the quality of engagement between patients and their primary care professionals?"

Activity 2: Current State Mapping 
(2 hours)

Group 1 concept map outcome.

In the second activity, we created a concept map based on the group discussion to depict the current state of the healthcare ecosystem. Specifically, we focused on the causes of inconsistent doctor’s visits, the ever-changing health insurance landscape, accessibility of healthcare resources, and larger systems impacting consistent care. 

Many of us felt that our records are often dispersed between different health networks and hospital systems making for a disrupted and often stressful patient experience. The majority of our group felt that the disjointed healthcare system directly impacts data management/ data hygiene.

Activity 3: Future Speculation 
(3 hours)

In the second phase of the workshop we were instructed to use 3D-making materials from the MAKETOOLS kit to imagine a speculative (plausible) future state solution to the chosen problem area. 

The group consensus was to depict a near future in which we leverage technology and community-based organizations to ensure patients and doctors have more consistent contact throughout their lives. We speculated on the potential for frequent, personalized connection and community care that could result in more consistent data collection and life-long patient retention and, in turn, a healthier population.

"How might we improve the patient data experience by improving the quality of engagement between patients and their primary care professionals?"

During the ideation phase, I suggested we develop a 3D two-way journey map, depicting the current state in parallel with the re-designed patient experience, including touch points of how doctors and patients might interact throughout their lifetimes. 


The future state journey illustrates an increased frequency of touchpoints between doctors and patients, existing at regular intervals throughout their lives, from birth through end-of-life care. This would be accomplished through expanded public programming, accessible telehealth resources, digital communications, and other social impact/public health services.

2-way journey mapping process.
2-way journey mapping process.
3D 2-way journey map outcome.
Group 1 team photo.

© Mary Kahle, 2024