A new breed of designers is at the forefront of arguing for the re-designing of the delivery of services based on 'patient needs'. This means improving their experience of healthcare, and measuring success by 'patient satisfaction'. This is part of a wider trend towards using design to encourage people to change the way they live, and adopt healthier lifestyles, preventing illness.
Everyone agrees healthcare needs to be improved, but can attempts to alter patients' and staff's behaviour succeed? And will focusing on patient satisfaction be enough to transform the NHS and wider healthcare provision? Or does this only obscure the economic, political and infrastructure problems that underlie the failings of the health service? At a time when healthcare faces drastic cutbacks, some argue it makes economic sense to discourage people from choosing unhealthy lives and becoming a drain on resources. But is it the place of designers to implement such a contentious agenda? Will making patients accept the 'terms and conditions' of a health care system before being allowed to access its services be good for anyone?
Added by Martyn_Perks on October 17, 2009