Next in health care: The human revolution

KPLantern Synthesis 54122KPLantern Synthesis (View on

This is the KPLantern Synthesis room in Oakland, California. No computers or mobile devices, just stories and experiences of real people written on post-it notes and organized (and re-organized) by themes and insights.

It’s part of KPLantern, a project to understand the health and health care of people who are transgender, using a human centered design/fieldwork approach.

At the same time I engage in this process:

These experiences describe a system that’s hard on people, sometimes even brutal, and unnecessarily so. The world-famous Kaiser Permanente Innovation Consultancy (@KPInnovation) has been using a human-centered approach for over 10 years. I am only living in it now, it fits well with where I think health care should spend its effort (or at least where I want to).

I just got handed a paper by Gordon Matheson, MD, PhD, from Stanford: Matheson GO, Pacione C, Shultz RK, Klügl M. Leveraging human-centered design in chronic disease prevention. Am. J. Prev. Med. 2015;48(4):472–9, and I love this quote:

Technology is only effective when the human problem is understood

We can manufacture great connected glucometers, but we can’t do one of the most important things our patients ask: call them by their correct name.

Think about what the true human problems are and all the things that flow from and through them. The quote below was stated so simply by my colleague Rhonda Satterfield, when I brought her to this room:

“Thank you, too for sending the transgender material. I am an ally. I may not understand what it is like to be transgender, or anything other (i.e., African, Asian, Buddhist, male) than being me; but it should not stop any of us from being treated equally. We are all the same on one level — human beings.” – Rhonda Satterfield (Ted’s colleague)

I believe the first time I referred to this decade as “The Decade of the Patient” was in 2012: Video of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Electronic Health Records 2.0 | Expert Voices | Ted Eytan, MD.

From this experience, I think we’re reach to take this one step further and understand the human problem, so that technology can be effective. We have the tools, and our generation has the power to change everything.

More photos from synthesis below. Thank you Innovation Consultancy 🙂 .

Ted Eytan, MD