A New Start to A New Year

A New start to a new year

2016.  It is upon us, and who doesn’t like some new things to go with a new year? 

To begin, I would like to wish the warmest welcome to those of you who are receiving this blog for the first time!  This blog goes out just about every week and provides updates, recaps, or reflections of recent happenings in the Hub (which is located on the first floor of the main hospital near the cashier and volunteer offices).  At any time, if you have questions, thoughts, comments, ideas, etc. feel free to email SibleyHub@jhmi.edu or come find us in the Hub!

Second, I would like to introduce Coefficiently, a new segment of our Hub publications, whose purpose is to explore and describe some of the newest technologies that are out there and how they could one-day impact Sibley and healthcare.  Click here to take a look!

And that’s not all!  We have also made some major updates to our website.  I would specifically like to refer you to look at our recent projects

Finally, I am truly excited for this New Year and to start it off by sharing a new project in progress in the Hub.  This project is the second of our Hub facilitated Design Races, where a project works on a deliberately fast-paced, 7-week timeline, and this project focuses specifically around the redesign of the gowns that our patients wear during their visits.

In the first week, we brought the team together and introduced the motivation and the ideas behind the project.  We set the stage for the project, and we started to do some broad research about gowns—what has been done before, what are people saying about their experiences, why is the gown the way it is? 

What did we find?  Gowns have a lot of different designs, they are relatively cheap, a few places have reinvented their gowns in the past, they are a “right of passage”, and even more.  There were some common pain points around temperature, exposure, difficulty putting on, and the acceptance of gowns as something that is part of a hospital experience.        

We used this research to fuel our first round of end-user interviews—what we want to understand better, what we wanted to dive into, what we wanted to ask?  These interviews included patients and staff from all over the hospital and medical office building.  We did our best to leave no opinion unturned!  We heard things like:

-“it identifies you as that person”

-“it is inconvenient to do the IV if there aren’t snaps”

-“it is big, but it’s a hospital so it ok”

-“I always have a problem with the size”

-“I love when staff pre-tie the gown”

When you hear a lot of feedback, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the “good” or “bad” things that one hears, but what is most important in design interviews is to get to an honest answer, whether it sounds good or not.  There is not always an easy way of asking for these hard truths, but it is only through finding them that we can accurately design for our end-users.  So we put our vast array of quotes, emotions, and thoughts on post-it notes and began to synthesize (move post-its around) the ideas into core patterns and themes.  We found some of the user themes that emerged were a feeling of nakedness or exposure, differing needs for different genders, a focus on specific fit and size, and a wish for certain material for temperature control. 


Using these many themes, we decided what information we would dive into further, and that is the stage that we are currently in—using these themes as the spark for a couple in-depth, more specific interviews that will shine more light on these important areas. 

Where will this lead us?  Nobody on the team is quite sure yet, but we are starting to have some interesting ideas!  However, it is important that we continue to wait until we feel as complete an understand as possible of our end user's—both patients and staff—interactions with what patients wear. 

A wonderful beginning to a New Year!  A new project, website, Coefficiently, and new blog recipients.  The Hub couldn’t be more excited for what 2016 will bring—the relationships, the questions, the ideas, the prototypes, and especially the stories.  We are so happy to continue sharing our story with you as well.  Keep asking those How Might We’s!

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Andrew Yin

Happy New Year!  Feel free to come by the Hub to find me!  


Please email SibleyHub@jhmi.edu to share your feedback, experiences, feelings, comments, or ideas.  Also, send an email if you want to join our feedback team and are willing to be interviewed for our future projects!