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Design Thinking for Improving Primary Healthcare in the UK

The NHS is facing its worst crisis yet, with record A&E waiting times, industrial action, and an aging population exacerbating the intolerable pressures on the system. It's time for a change, and that change is design thinking.

97% of healthcare costs come from patients presenting at the hospital, according to Leif Johansson, Chairman of Astra Zeneca. But what about the remaining 3%?

That's where the power of design thinking comes in, transforming the primary healthcare system to deliver better patient outcomes and drive down the cost of sickness.

Primary healthcare is the first point of contact between a patient and the healthcare system, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the population. With design thinking, we can harness opportunities, solve problems, and make the system better by shifting investment to technologies like artificial intelligence to enable screening, prevention, and early diagnosis.

Design thinking is a user-centred approach that involves understanding the needs of users, exploring multiple solutions, and testing prototypes to arrive at the best solution. It's a game-changer for primary healthcare in the UK.

Step 1: Discovery - Get to know the experiences and needs of primary healthcare users by observing and talking to patients, healthcare workers, and other stakeholders.

Step 2: Define - Synthesise the insights gathered in the empathy stage into a clear problem statement.

Step 3: Develop - Generate a wide range of ideas to solve the problem through brainstorming, group discussions, and other creative exercises.

Step 4: Prototype - Create prototypes of the best solutions to test and refine without incurring significant costs.

Step 5: Test - Gather feedback from users and stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the prototypes and make improvements.

Design thinking revolutionises primary healthcare by involving patients, healthcare workers, and other stakeholders in the problem-solving process. It addresses the challenges faced by the sector and provides better care for patients. And at Yohlar Health, we make it happen.

We teach stakeholders across primary healthcare how to apply design thinking to drive innovation and service transformation through the Power of 3 methodology, which provides learners with the innovation toolset, skillset, and mindset required to drive change and impact.

Just take a look at how Durham CCG used the Power of 3 to innovate the Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) Referral Process in a 1-Day Rapid Design Sprint and Innovation Discovery Session.

Ready to revolutionise primary healthcare in the UK? Find out more about Yohlar Health here


The whole workshop was excellent!
I was hugely impressed at what we were able to achieve as a team with such excellent facilitators

Jannette Archer, NHS

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