Quite a lot, in fact. A group of 27 experts from the K.I.D.S. Foundation (among them the competence volunteers of Publicis Groupe) published the Report titled “Children’s Hospital of the Future”, which is a starting point for a discussion about paediatric care in Poland and a vision of its future. The Foundation wants to introduce innovations, new technologies, improve processes, change patients’ experiences, improve the comfort of doctors’ work – all in order to minimize the stress of children and their parents, which is connected with the illness and stay in the hospital.
Where to start in order to make the right diagnosis? K.I.D.S. experts started by checking world trends, conducted qualitative research with doctors, nurses, hospital administration employees and hospital leaders. They organized design thinking workshops with parents and children, mapped out the patient’s path based on the consumer path- they applied a whole set of tools that are used in the business world to analyze the market, learn about the needs of consumer and create products that respond to those needs.
The initiative was supported by Natalia Hatalska’s infuture.institute, known for its search for trends. This time it defined three megatrends concerning the future of children’s hospitals and named them after children’s songs from Disney films. The first of these was called “Be Our Guest” (from the film “Beauty and the Beast”). It includes everything that makes the hospital space more domesticated and “at home”. Every element can be meaningful, from the coluor scheme to the design, specially designed light, an intuitive sign and navigation system. The Internet of things and smart hospital devices are coming to the aid of hospitals. The second trend “Friend Like Me” (from the film “Aladdin”) is based on the idea of patient-centered care and stems from the understanding that a child who comes to the hospital is suddenly not only in a foreign space but also surrounded by strangers. That is why the role of everyone whom a small patient meets on their way is so important – because each of these people can take care of their mental comfort. Technology – e.g. augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – can also play a huge role in reducing hospital stress. The third trend “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (from the film “Toy Story”) includes all activities that prevent the patient from being excluded from living outside the hospital walls and allow them to maintain relationships, friendships and participate in school activities. It is also about creating a friendly environment that supports making new acquaintances and facilitates maintaining them after leaving the hospital.
Megatrends and qualitative research have become the starting point for analysis and the first step to create a vision for the hospital of the future. In the next stage, the “consumer journey” technique – used on a daily basis by marketers to create better products, services and optimize consumer experience with brands – proved to be very helpful. The technique allowed the “patient path” to be recreated to better understand the challenges facing the hospital of the future. It allowed the authors of the report to look at the hospital through the eyes of its patients and their parents, but it also captured the perspective of doctors, nurses and hospital administration staff – from the moment of diagnosis to returning home. Understanding the tensions, challenges and expectations of all participants involved in the treatment process allows for a discussion about innovative tools that will provide everyone with a maximum sense of safety, comfort and help improve patient experience, where health and a happy childhood are at stake. The full K.I.D.S.
Foundation “Children’s Hospital of the Future” Report (K.I.D.S. Children’s Hospital Innovators Club) can be downloaded at kids.org.pl.