Redesigning Health Communication for Refugees

Project Details:

August 2020 - October 2020

Strategist and Designer

Refugee patients face major obstacles when visiting their healthcare providers, and our Service Design Capstone team wanted to see how we could reimagine this experience.

The Ask:
In a team of 5, we were tasked to develop a service that would address one or more issues affecting refugee patients in Austin, TX.

How might we help non-english speaking patients feel confident and comfortable when visiting their primary care provider?

Visualize Digital (Steps 3 & 4 of the Visualize Service)

The Service

Visualize is a holistic patient communication system that transcends verbal communication and allows patients the option to communicate through only visual means. Visualize aims to:

➯ Transform the provider-patient relationship in the exam room
➯ Optimize provider access to patient information

Service Feedback

Is Visualize comprehensive enough to address health communication issues?

Here's just a sample of some of the feedback we collected from providers and reps from refugee non-profit organizations:

➯ "This is a good way to build patient autonomy."
➯ "Third party interpretation often causes miscommunication, so removing reliance on this could be useful."
"Would patients using this service stick out like a sore thumb?"

^ That piece of feedback prompted us to broaden our scope: Visualize can apply to all patients, not just refugees. After all, everyone should be able to feel confident in what they're communicating to their provider.

Service Impact

The bottom line: clinics will save money on third-party interpreter use. Patients have autonomy over the message that's being communicated to their provider.

Providers exert less energy gathering patient information, leaving more energy for the patient

Providers and patients can communicate more easily and develop a relationship

Patients are confident that their health information is being communicated front-end to back-end