Technical developments tend to grab the headlines in health care. Predictive analytics, telemedicine, electronic health records — technology is rightly seen as a transformative force in health delivery.
But it’s not the only one. At Rotterdam Eye Hospital, hospital administrators have found that through their ongoing design-thinking program, lower-tech measures can also improve health care. Simple measures such as building a more intuitive website, replacing harsh fluorescent lighting and cold linoleum floors with softer lighting and wood parquet, and giving children and pediatric ophthalmologists matching T-shirts have reduced patient fears. Addressing patients’ fears is important because fear can make an eye operation difficult or even impossible. Moreover, less fear translates into greater patient satisfaction.
Now, Rotterdam Eye Hospital has integrated a measure that is even lower-tech: better conversations.