Waiting Room 2020
Tackling social barriers to essential healthcare
by Dr. Sonja Pedell
A social undertaking by A/Prof Sonja Pedell and her team at the CDI’s Future-Self and Design Living Lab has looked to refashion the common doctor’s waiting room, collaborating with ACCESS Health and Community in Hawthorn to address a number of concerns that patients have with the waiting area.
Comprehensive research undertaken by Pedell’s team has shown that exorbitant amounts of time spent in waiting rooms have become a social barrier to healthcare, an issue that the Living Lab looks to address through a number of design-influenced approaches.
Utilising a traditional Living Lab methodology, an approach that encompasses a variety of co-creative methods that were suitable for allowing key stakeholders to communicate their emotions was initiated, focusing on connecting a number of spatial, social and technological factors in an effort to improve the user experience of the waiting room.
User-centred research heavily informed the design process, which looked to ideate a waiting room that catered to a wide range of potential users. In order to communicate the richness and complexity of the data and ideas, but also the variety of solutions to the client, three complementing outcomes were produced: A report, a prototype for health self-management and an animation displaying the main barriers for clients entitled “ACCESS ME NOT”.
It was this animation in particular that enabled important stakeholders to understand the emotions of the clients and be used as a tool to communicate some of the service barriers to staff and decision makers in a humorous way. In doing so, the Future-Self and Design Living Lab not only informed the modern waiting room, but also took the first step to innovating the local health care sector via health media.
(Character models created for the ACCESS ME NOT animation)
Article by Ryan Malcolm