Co-Creation of a Hospital and the Customer Experience


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I recently had an opportunity to visit the new Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Canada and was very impressed.
It all started with an enlightened view of health care and healing. The family-centered care concept is rooted in the idea that a collaborative partnership between patients, families and health-care professionals can result in a higher level of care. Research shows that when families are included in the care process, treatment is more effective: patients are less stressed, recovery times are improved and caregivers experience higher job satisfaction, due in part to more efficient use of professional time and resources.
To help apply this family-centered care concept to the construction of the new hospital, the administration recruited children and parents to help provide feedback and design ideas and they had a major impact. The children nixed a tall building in favor of a lower but wider structure—the taller building was intimidating. They also wanted it to be colorful and cheerful. They got a brightly colored building that looks like it is made out of Lego blocks.
Steve Hoscheit, CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation summarizes the design features and the experience it enables: Children staying at the hospital will have access to play areas, Healing Gardens, a pet room (where their own pet can visit) and some of the best views in the city, while their parents can take advantage of family rooms with cooking facilities, private phone booths, confidential spaces, a family and community resource centre, covered parking and more. There is also a bed and storage space within each child’s room, if parents stay overnight.
The entire architectural structure is completely different from the original plan just because of what the kids wanted.
This is a beautiful example of co-creation and taking the customer experience seriously.

John Todor
John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of the MindShift Innovation, a firm that helps executives confront the volatility and complexity of the marketplace. We engage executives in a process that tackles two critical challenges: envisioning new possibilities for creating and delivering value to customers and, fostering employee engagement in the innovation and alignment of business practices to deliver on the new possibilities. Follow me on Twitter @johntodor


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