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Spaces for designing healthcare

Type of project
Centre for Connected Care - C3
01.09.2015 -> 31.10.2021

This project has been completed

About the project

This research project is about exploring and bring forward new knowledge about the evolving practice of healthcare service design in the context of design labs. It was carried out using action research as an approach, through establishing four embedded design labs inside three different large hospitals in Norway over a period of six years, to study how healthcare service design is practiced and may be advanced in design lab settings.

Similar to other western countries, Norwegian healthcare systems are constantly adapting to different strong drivers of change, such as increasing costs, technological advancements, expanding elderly population and rising user expectations. To help meet these changes and utilize the possibilities that they carry with them, there has been a global rise in using service design within healthcare, during the last two decades. The integration of service design into healthcare has taken many shapes, such as through research projects, by commissioning, as in-house employments and lately through the establishment of design labs. Design labs are currently being applied on different levels in public sector in research  and in healthcare. They are described as safe spaces for collaborative experimentation and demonstration of new solutions, related to social needs. In many cases, such labs are supporting healthcare organizations to navigate the early fuzzy front-end stages of new service initiatives. Such new service development processes holds a potential to significantly impact the outcome of service realizations. This project aims to bring new knowledge forward to advance the evolving theories and practices of healthcare service design as a specific subfield, although parts of this research may open up for impacting service design more broadly. Simultaneously, it may inform healthcare innovators on how service design may be used to support developments in general and more specifically by using design labs as a working model.

The project is a part of the Centre for Connected Care (C3). C3 holds a status of Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) supported by The Research Council of Norway. The main objective for the SFIs is to enhance the capability of the business sector to innovate by focusing on long-term research based on forging close alliances between research-intensive enterprises and prominent research groups. C3 aims to accelerate adoption and diffusion of patient-centric innovations that change patient pathways and delivery systems, empower the patients and increase growth in the healthcare industry. C3 brings together different actors to research and co-develop new knowledge, infrastructure and healthcare services. Oslo University Hospital (OUS) is head and host of the center.