Even before we were faced with a global pandemic, it was no secret that healthcare is a unique and complicated industry. And unfortunately, this reality creates resistance that too often favors comfort over improvement.

Why? It takes significant time and effort to craft a sense of self-confidence in our roles as business, clinical, and strategic leaders. This confidence comes from a foundational understanding of this industry and ability to recognize patterns. It also allows us to move faster and make decisions quickly without second-guessing.

Cultivating our roles with purpose and honing the ability to navigate an industry as consequential as healthcare demand exhaustive, comprehensive expertise with little to no room for error. After all, there are no ‘free’ moves in our roles—from the messages we send to our community, to delivering on those messages in every detail of every experience. Even down to the meticulous precision required in the operating room.

All the more reason to stay true to what we know, agreed? I beg to differ.

To continue to grow, it is crucial that we challenge ourselves to approach work objectively and to embrace a different way of seeing and doing—and what better way than through embracing design thinking in healthcare.

Why Make Room for Design Thinking in Healthcare?

One could easily argue that healthcare is the most over-regulated and under-designed industry in the world. That’s why it is our duty to up our game as healthcare leaders – continuously evolving and improving ourselves and our contributions to improve this industry. The communities we are tasked to serve trust and rely on us at their most vulnerable of times. We have a responsibility to never settle and grow complacent in what we put out into the world—from the stories we tell to the services we provide, to the experiences we deliver.

This is a critical conversation in healthcare marketing and strategy. Design thinking is a crucial element in healthcare and with it, we can adapt to the evolving nature of the care landscape. Design can be leveraged at a multitude of levels of interaction in the healthcare experience. Think about how intricate every healthcare encounter is and the range of players involved. Consider the experience of a loved one receiving a life-changing diagnosis. The impact of this notion resonates deep within the individual, as well as their system of support.

Design thinking is an expression of purposeful action. Healthcare is brimming with opportunity to clarify confusion, enhance experiences and streamline inefficiencies. The discipline of design is a powerful framework with limitless potential to transform healthcare marketing and strategy. Regardless of the type of organization you are a part of, you can benefit from seeing the world through the lens of design.

10 Reasons Why Design Thinking Should Have a Place in Your 2021 Strategy

  1. Design gives us purpose—Intention drives our process and keeps us focused on our pursuits. Using design ensures that our actions and interactions are guided by reason and awareness.
  2. Design is awareness—Be present in the exchanges with others. In design, we listen carefully and ask questions to deepen our knowledge and understanding of others. We focus on others instead of ourselves.
  3. Design opens us up to possibility—Everything in life is a prototype—from the conversations we have to the work that we do. In design, we recognize that things can change. We are never ‘stuck’ with what we have or what we’ve done.
  4. Design finds connections—Focusing on what connects us can allow us to embrace our community and ourselves. In design, we find commonalities as starting points for building relationships. Differences are not barriers but rather opportunities for learning.
  5. Design builds trust—Take time to invest in the people you seek to connect with—know who they are and where they are coming from. With design, we are purposeful and transparent in the development of authentic relationships.
  6. Design clarifies the complicated—Extraneous effort and redundancy are commonplace when we move quickly. With design, we reflect and assess what’s working and what isn’t. Design removes unnecessary elements and enhances efficiency.
  7. Design envisions the future—Limitless opportunities for improving the future state are embedded in the current state. Through design, we not only envision and aspire to reach the ideal, but we build an actionable plan for achieving it.
  8. Design drives innovation—Innovation does not happen by chance. It takes a commitment to understanding human needs and identifying the underlying cause of challenges and inefficiencies. With design, there is a calculated pursuit to solve for a compelling need.
  9. Design has the power to move people—Reconnecting with what makes us passionate about our work is inspiring and the results can motivate others. Through design, solutions born from extensive research and understanding have the potential to change individuals and drive culture.
  10. Design is hope for an improved future—Empathy and compassion for others fuels the design process. With design, we lead with the desire to make conditions better for others. We are moved to see our efforts to fruition and we continuously advocate for improvement. With design, healthcare will get better.

A Rallying Cry

To inspire change across all domains of healthcare, leaders must understand the power of design in a broader context, reap its benefits and champion its usage. LIFT is dedicated to transforming the point of view of healthcare leaders to embrace design thinking. We can help you see old challenges with new eyes and in a different way, to embody a strategically relevant and creative point of view, and to realize the potential for design to drive impact within your work, across and your organization.

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