Incorporating Design

In a health care world of useless price and cost data (individuals pay little, what’s a charge mean anyway?), comparable quality and outcomes data (see Medicare’s futile attempt at comparison via the Hospital Compare website), similar service offerings (the general hospital is an exercise in commoditization; our system dictates that competing hospitals must offer similar services), and compromised patient satisfaction scores (hospitals game the Press Ganey system by asking for high scores), how does a hospital differentiate itself from competition?

Patient experience.  How does a hospital build patient experiences?  By making design a priority (here’s evidence on why it is important).  Robert Brunner at FastCompany:

The relatively few companies in the world that are really design-driven know the secret: That design is, in fact, everybody’s job. Rather than making design a single step in the process where requirements flow in and ideas flow out, they see design as a constant topic of discussion across all disciplines and steps in the process. It is not a vertical stripe in the horizontal process flow, but a horizontal one that extends from inception through customer service and end of life.

Granted there’s a needed educational component here.  So why not start during the summer reading season (I’m a fan of year-round reading, but if you need the extra momentum brought on by the beach, it’s upon us)?  Here are 30 important design books.  Start with “The Design of Everyday Things,” it will change your perspective.