Encourage patients through improved information exchange : A service design project regarding patients with osteoarthritis

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013)

Abstract: This project started with the assumption that some people do not continue to perform their exercises independently after they have visited the physiotherapist. Through the application of different service design methods, the underlying problem was explored and new service solutions were developed and presented with a prototype and scenario. The project was limited to the user group of patients with osteoarthritis who are being treated through physical activity. Osteoarthritis is a very common joint disease in Sweden which affects the cartilage and causing pain. Observations and interviews were directly conducted at the physiotherapists to gain insights on what supports, encourages and prevents the patient to perform their exercise independently. Research was done on the entire journey of the patient, starting when they seek help and ending when they are to manage the treatment on their own. All the steps were presented in a Customer Journey. The insights from the research were presented with key insight, two personas called Gunilla and Bosse representing different types of patients and an Emotional Journey showing their experience of their journey. The ultimate problem definition was done collaboratively with physiotherapists and patients by discussing their unique experiences and frustrations. A key pattern among the problems was information exchange so the ultimate problem was defined: “When, where and how should the information exchange take form so that the patients understand the support, the importance of exercise and are presented with individual adjusted exercises?” It was answered by patients using an Information Journey and giving data to the final solution. The new service solution aims at improving the information exchange between the physiotherapist and the patient, as a step to encourage the patient to perform their exercises. The project also presents a better understanding for the patients experience when meeting with the healthcare. The project was done in cooperation with Experio Lab in Karlstad, with Olga Sabirova Höjerström as supervisor. Experio Lab is a section of County Council of Värmland and works with service design within the healthcare. This project is the degree project of the Bachelor of Science in Innovation and Design engineering at Karlstad University. The project covers 22,5 ECTS credits and extends from January to June in 2018. The supervising teacher is Postdoctoral Researcher Jakob Trischler and examiner of the course is Professor Leo de Vin. 

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