Researching Clinician Experiences

Melissa Yogui and I just had a meeting with Professor Toni Roberston at the UTS Interaction Design and Human Practices (IDHuP) Lab, to discuss some discussion groups we have scheduled with staff at Children’s Hospital Westmead. Toni has worked and published extensively on human-centred and participatory design methods, including work in the area of medicine and health care.

For these meetings our aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the working conditions in the clinics, basic logistics (how long a procedure takes, how much waiting is involved for clients, how many people in the room at a given time tec.) and the varieties of coping/non-coping styles they encounter in the work with children undergoing painful, recurrent procedures.

Here are some of Toni’s recommendations:

  1. Do a series of pilot meetings – to rehearse and test out our facilitation skills, the appropriateness of our agenda; and capacity to incorporate important follow up questions etc.;
  2. Send the participants an email a few days in advance – with mental ‘home work’ to prepare for the meeting – to think of a short story that they can tell us about a typical or atypical client interaction or situation in their clinic;
  3. Recruit a note taker to take notes during the meetings – as we will be too busy making sure it runs smoothly, and responding to answers with followup questions etc [not feasible at this stage as we would have had to include this info in our ethics application!].
  4. Get theĀ  participantsĀ  to generate the success criteria that they would use to evaluate the success of the project (stakeholder-identified success criteria /KPI’s): “How would it be if this worked?”, “How would you know that this device was working?”;
  5. Use prototypes (cardboard/paper, electronic etc.) to establish a shared (concrete) language across disciplines (design, art, medical, psychological etc.);
  6. Send the participants a copy of the Personas and Scenarios we develop from stories they tell us – and invite them to provide if they ae interested – feedback re the accuracy or viability of these personas and scenariosas tools to help us in the design process.
  7. Think about which research questions can involve anyone (i.e. we all have bodies, we can have a response to an artwork etc.) ; and which questions can only be answered by the children, their famillies or the staff working with them – which questions are specific to the unique situations these people inhabit (that we may not). The point here is to make the most of what each specific group have to offer.
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