Rodolfo Prata

Patient-Centered Design

Patient-Centered DesignPatient-centered design is designing healthcare with the patient in mind, a methodology that prioritizes the patient’s desires and requirements. This encompasses constructing medical facilities, procedures, and systems to enhance patient care. The concept of patient-centered has gained considerable traction in recent years as healthcare organizations worldwide strive to improve their quality of care.
In this blog post, I will delve into the principles of patient-centered design advantages for patients and healthcare providers.

Patient-centered design is founded on the patient’s needs and values. Medical practitioners must collaborate with patients as partners in their treatment, developing a plan tailored to their unique circumstances. Patients must be empowered to make informed decisions about their care and have access to the resources they need to manage their health effectively.

The Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is an example of a medical device that was designed using patient-centered design principles. The system is used by people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels in real-time, allowing them to make informed decisions about their diet, exercise, and insulin dosing.

The device was designed with input from people with diabetes, as well as healthcare providers and caregivers, to ensure that it met the needs of all stakeholders. One key design feature of the device is its ease of use. The system is simple and intuitive, with a mobile app that allows users to quickly access their glucose readings and other important information.

Another important design feature is the device’s discreetness. The system is small and can be worn discreetly on the body, making it less obtrusive and more comfortable for users.

The Dexcom G6 system also offers a range of customizable alerts and alarms to help users stay on top of their glucose levels. Users can set their own glucose thresholds and receive alerts when their glucose levels are outside of their target range. This helps to empower users to take an active role in their care and avoid the potential complications of uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Overall, the patient-centered design approach of the Dexcom G6 system led to improved outcomes for people with diabetes. Users reported increased satisfaction with the system and its ease of use, which helped to improve their adherence to glucose monitoring and management. Healthcare providers also reported improved efficiency and effectiveness in managing their patients’ diabetes, as the system provided real-time data and reduced the need for frequent office visits.

A key aspect of the patient-centered design is prioritizing the patient’s experience. Medical practitioners must consider the patient’s journey from the time they enter the medical facility to the time they leave. This entails designing inviting and comfortable facilities, providing clear and prompt communication with patients, and reducing wait times and other sources of frustration.

Another critical principle of patient-centered design is acknowledging the importance of the patient’s social context. Healthcare providers must recognize that patients have diverse backgrounds and unique experiences, beliefs, and values. To offer genuinely patient-centered healthcare providers must take the time to comprehend the patient’s social context and develop a treatment plan that considers it.

Patient-centered design also recognizes the significance of family and community. Healthcare providers must involve the patient’s family and community in the care process, as they can provide valuable support and help ensure the patient’s success in managing their health.

Why is patient-centered design essential? There are numerous benefits both for patients and healthcare providers. For patients, a patient-centered can result in better health outcomes, increased satisfaction with care, and improved quality of life. By involving patients as partners in their care, healthcare providers can assist parents in taking an active role in managing their child’s health, leading to better health outcomes over the long term.

For healthcare providers, patient-centered design can increase efficiency and reduce costs. By customizing care to the patient’s unique circumstances, healthcare providers can avoid unnecessary tests and treatments, lowering costs and minimizing the risk of adverse outcomes. Furthermore, by enhancing patient satisfaction with care, healthcare providers can decrease the likelihood of patients seeking care from other providers, resulting in improved continuity of care and better health outcomes over time.

Patient-Centered DesignThe James Cancer Hospital in Ohio is an example of a well-planned and executed project in which patient-centered design was a central component of the facility’s redesign. The hospital was designed with the goal of providing a more comfortable and welcoming environment for patients and their families. The facility was designed with input from patients, families, and healthcare providers to ensure that it met the needs of all stakeholders.

One of the key design features of the hospital is the integration of natural light and green spaces. The hospital’s main lobby features a wall of windows that provides patients and their families with views of a garden and outdoor space. This helps create a more calming and serene environment, which is especially important for patients who may be feeling anxious or stressed.

Another important design feature is using technology to improve communication and patient education. The hospital’s rooms are equipped with bedside tablets that allow patients to access educational resources, communicate with their healthcare team, and control their room’s temperature and lighting. This helps empower patients to take an active role in their care and provides them with the information they need to make informed decisions.

The hospital also recognizes the importance of understanding the patient’s social context. The facility offers various support services, including spiritual care, social work, and financial counselling, to help patients and their families manage the non-medical aspects of their care. This helps ensure that patients receive holistic care that addresses their physical, emotional, and social needs.

In conclusion, patient-centered design is a powerful approach to healthcare that can lead to improved outcomes for patients and healthcare providers. By prioritizing the patient’s needs, preferences, and values, healthcare providers can offer more effective and efficient care tailored to the patient’s unique circumstances. As healthcare systems worldwide continue to strive for ways to enhance the quality of care they provide, the patient-centered will likely play an increasingly critical role in the coming years.

Dexcom G6 Image:

James Cancer Hospital & Patient Room Image:


Charmel, P. A., & Frampton, S. B. (2008). Building the business case for patient-centered care. Health Finance Manage, 62(3), 80-5.

Rodolfo Prata is a Senior UX Designer at StarFish Medical. Rodolfo studied Multimedia Design at Senac University (Brazil) and User Experience (UX) Design at the University of Toronto. Rodolfo is highly passionate about UX Design, always seeking innovative ways to improve user interactions for devices and services.

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