Show Patients You Care: A Case Study on Customer-Needs-Driven Design

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In this week’s Daily Dose video, I share a short video inspired by the lessons of my most recent book, Would You Do That To Your Mother

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.


As a patient, we want health care to put us back together again when we’re just not right, to give us peace, to be cared for, with our dignity intact. Well, the traditional hospital gown is just not cutting it.

Is it designed for the company or the customer?

The hospital gown was originally designed to make it easy for health care providers to do what they needed to do, but this design clearly did not take the human wearing it into consideration, or the family or friends who suffered along with the lack of patient dignity. The existing hospital gown can impact a patient’s health. Patients suffer from vulnerability, which may impede getting better and that gown contributes to vulnerability.

However, a redesigned gown is proving to improve the entire patient experience. Dale Milford, a patient at Detroit based Henry Ford Health System, wore a newly designed gown for his liver transplant and he said, “The new gown was emblematic of an attitude that was conveyed to me at the hospital, that they cared about me as a whole human being, not just the part they were operating on.”

Honor your customers’ dignity

Often design processes and the things we make customers do are built because of what we want to get from them and what we need to get done. When you begin with what customers need instead of what you require, you will gain customers who love you, for understanding their needs and translating it into how you run your business and honor them.

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