Over the course of a year STBY has worked with Vilans, a knowledge centre for long-term care, to help them introduce Design Thinking to their organisation. Designerly approaches often seem a tough fit for professionals in the healthcare sector, who’ve mostly trained to work with the evidence-based, conventional innovation and implementation practices. For example, rapid prototyping to derive insights from a small number of users may seem unrealistic or even irresponsible to them.
As one of the outcomes of our collaboration Vilans wished to implement two kinds of ‘toolkits’ that could help them to integrate designerly approaches in their consultation, devoted respectively to implementation and impact. STBY worked with the staff of Vilans while co-developing these toolkits. One of the main challenges was to make the considerable knowledge and expertise of Vilans’ staff relevant to innovation more explicit and to re-appropriate it for use in the toolkits.
The final toolkits are not the traditional ‘set of tools’, but have more the form of visual, structured overviews of key processes. These processes turned out to be the most key and complex elements for the health care practitioners. The visual overviews enable Vilans to document the expertise and knowledge present, and make it transferable, so it can be integrated into day-to-day practice.