Monday, January 21, 2019

Can design thinking really work in healthcare?

The idea of using design thinking in healthcare isn't a particularly novel one; in fact I've been hearing anecdotes about it for more than 15 years. But is it really happening at a system level?

In November of 2012, the voters of Travis County, Texas (read:Austin) voted to accept a not-insignificant property tax increase in order to fund the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. The new entity was to be led by renowned innovator Dr. Clay Johnston, formerly of UCSF in San Francisco. Dr. Johnston knew that if the new medical school was going to fulfill its promise to re-design healthcare for the citizens of Travis County (and by extension, central Texas), it would take more than a few "design thinking anecdotes."

For that reason, Dr. Johnston tapped Stacey Chang, formerly the head of Ideo's health practice, to lead the Design Institute for Health - a collaboration between Dell Medical School and the UT School of Fine Arts. And only 3 1/2 years into this grand experiment, it's showing signs of paying off, starting with one of the most significant challenges in healthcare today: taking a proactive approach to dealing with mental health.

Check out the interview with Stacey Chang on the DataPoint podcast below, and find more information on the show at And don't forget to subscribe, rate, review and share from wherever you get your podcasts!

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