Fingers on the pulse: Responding to patient needs with innovation
The University of Minnesota Health (M Health) Clinics and Surgery Center is a lens into the future of healthcare, bridging the divide between accessibility and experience. Built upon consumer-centric experiences and innovations from retailers like Apple and Starbucks, M Health changes both the patient and staff perspective on healthcare delivery.
Patients are empowered as consumers and caregivers as collaborators. Modern technology is married with inventive care practices to bring clarity, convenience, and choice to the forefront of patient experience. The result is a destination ambulatory care center designed to elevate inter-professional care while doubling patient flow and reducing cost of care by more than 20 percent.
Our team saw the creation of the Clinics and Surgery Center as an opportunity to move away from dated historical precedents and truly rethink how we deliver care to our patients and community. We’ve paired leading ideas and best practices from healthcare and other industries to create an innovative facility that promotes a remarkably patient-focused care-delivery model.
–Mary Johnson, University of Minnesota Physicians Chief Operating Officer
Traditional reception desks were replaced by personal greeters with mobile check-in stations who can assist where the need is the greatest. Instead of being confined to a small waiting room, there is a variety of seating options to maximize comfort and help ease the tension of a healthcare environment. Even parking—which can cause headaches before even stepping into the exam room—was thoughtfully considered. A smart valet system lets patients request their cars be ready curbside as they’re leaving their appointment.
Resourcefulness was also brought to staff spaces. There are no private offices for clinicians—instead desks are along large window banks. A three-story open-air lounge lets staff relax in their own way. Our design team created a fully furnished model of a collaboration space to determine the most efficient workflow.
M Health upends convention at every turn, creating a model that emphasizes consumerism and responding to patient needs. Since opening, M Health notes that patient experience is yielding more than three times as many compliments as complaints. Ten of the center’s clinics are exceeding the 90th percentile for “would you recommend” in Press Ganey surveys of similar organizations.
What’s on the horizon for the doctor’s office waiting rooms? One of the more dreaded healthcare experiences is sitting in a waiting room. The doctor might be running late, it might be crowded, it may be a space where bad news was received. Turning this space into something more relaxing and open, with varied seating options, as was done at M Health, are proven to bolster the patient experience and make them more comfortable in a traditionally stressful environment.