The design team at Johns Hopkins Sibley includes designers, technologists,
project managers who focus on healthcare problems which have been
historically difficult to solve. We Hubsters also tackle opportunities to do new things
for patients, families, our teammates, and community physicans. We work out of
the Innovation Hub, a 5,000 sq foot open innovation space
in the center of Sibley Memorial Hospital. 

Staff-led design project teams, which are small, focused and encouraged to solve within arms reach, follow our three step Listen, Imagine, Do human-centered design method.
You’ll find some recent examples on this webpage.



Centre Sibley

Centre Sibley, one of the Hub’s earliest and most ambitious projects, is now a reality. It’s a concierge space offering personalized services to patients and visitors. Centre Sibley is a unique space and team aimed at helping patients, families and visitors with any request. From its inventory of comfort items to its high-touch service, Centre Sibley aims to help visitors solve any need they may have while visiting the hospital. 

It’s located just inside the main entrance of Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Centre Sibley Tablets


Supported by the generosity of an anonymous donor,

the Hub team sought a means of strengthening the connection
between the hospital and the patient. We partnered with a hotel technology developer to create custom mobile tablets for patients and visitors to use. The tablets can be used to take the burden off
the hospital room call button by giving patients direct access to
ordering food, creature comforts and entertainment.

With the tools and mindset of the hospitality industry,
the opportunities to add more comfort servives are nearly endless.


Tranquility room

Sound is a central part of the experience in a hospital. It’s just not always a pleasant one.

Hub Artist-in-Residence Yoko Sen, an accomplished digital musician, designed the “tranquility room” with the Hub in response to the needs of Sibley’s caregiving staff. The room features music, aromatherapy, and celestial images– all contributing to providing a calming space.

The concept: mentally well-rested staff are best equipped to provide quality patient care.

Breast cancer toolkit

Sibley’s VP of Operations, Caroline Shafa, championed this project.
She and her team started by listening to people
who had gone through breast cancer treatment. 

They learned about the many emotions people experience
during treatment. The team was inspired to help support people
during those times and feelings. 

The team designed a therapeutic toolkit for patients that included tools
to take charge of their care, ways to understand their treatment,
and ways to connect with other patients
who had been through the breast cancer journey already.



Weight loss journey

This project aimed to support bariatric patients throughout their weight loss journey. Harpreet, a bariatric nurse, and her coworker Shannon, saw that patients were not empowered to appreciate the many milestones they encountered.  

As a response, they prototyped a paper calendar and an infographic
that could support the emotional experience,
both before and after the operation.


About me boards

Patients want to be seen as peoplefirst– to make a human connection. Nurse Matt Brown developed an idea to help clinicians at Sibley
ensure a human connection with every patient, every time.
We call them “About Me” boards.

The dry-erase boards, which are now integrated in every patient room, give anyone entering the room an opportunity to see someone’s non-patient identity. They’re a way for staff to build a deeper connection
and start a conversation beyond someone’s condition or disease.



Warm Welcome project

The Warm Welcome project, led by Sibley CEO, Chip Davis, PhD, embraced the idea of improving the patient experience from the first moment someone arrives at the hospital. 

During a 24-hr design sprint, the team dissected the Sibley experience
with a detailed journey map. This led to the idea of meeting visitors with an “intentional catch,” currently modeled by Sibley’s ambassadors, executives, and team members.


Sibley employee garden

In discussing the health and community within Sibley, an idea was generated to create an employee garden outside the hospital entrance. After listening to employees, sketching the project, and gathering the help of volunteers,
the garden team was able to greet its first harvest
in the summer of 2016.


meetings redesign

To improve the efficiency ofstaff meetings, Marissa McKeever, Sibley’s Director of Community and Government Affairs, collected feedback from her colleagues and narrowed down to a particular challenge: 

having and maintaining an agenda.

Her team quickly whipped up several prototypes to address the issue.
One of them, a table tent featuring pro tips, has been placed on conference tables in several meeting rooms around the hospital.


pain management passport

DJ and Mete, anaesthesiologists who work at Sibley, understand that many patients are unaware of alternative pain management options. For this project, their team interviewed eighteen nurses and nurse managers in their first week. After brainstorming more than 50 ideas in half an hour, they settled on the concept of a “passport” to address the lack of knowledge. The new Pain Management Passport acts as an educational resource for patients to understand the various pain management options available to them at Sibley, beyond the typical narcotics.


foley bag carrying

Recovering patients are encouraged to ambulate. However, if carried incorrectly, the bags from some patients’ Foley catheters
can create an infection hazard. To help eliminate CAUTIs
(catheter-acquired urinary tract infections),
nurse Lisa Hawkins and her team are pursuing ways
to keep the bags at a safe height when patients are walking.

This “girdle-garter” prototype was built in the Hub’s “maker space”
during their first prototyping session.

administrative reporting

Sue Eddington, one of Sibley’s administrative nurses, observed the need to streamline the reporting system. Prior to the project, the system consisted of redundant paperwork that increased the chances of transferral errors. Sue’s project digitized the reporting system so that reporting could be done once, live from the floor, using a mobile device. Though it’s a simple change, the new form can save 15 or more minutes at the end of each shift and improves accuracy, too.



Health literacy

Health literacy is a crucial problem in public health. It underlines the necessity for all populations to understand, proccess, and access basic health information. Marissa McKeever, Sibley’s Director of Community Affairs, is leading a project to counteract the deficit, focusing on how we can better serve patients at Sibley’s Ward 7/8 oncology clinic. Her team, which includes the clinic’s NP, a medical anthropologist, and others, recently held

a “Listen & Learn” dinner for current and former clinic patients, where they learned there’s a big opportunity to addnavigator services, as well as a support group.

Time to call a chaplain

Chaplaincy services are offered at Sibley Hospital, but patients, care partners and staff often don’t recognize when when to notify chaplains in end-of-life situations. Chaplain Sheila’s design project aims to help staff understand when to call if a patient is in critical condition. 

The goal: for patients and their families to receive
the most appropriate, timely, and sensitive support possible,
while simultaneously relieving the burden on the nursing team
so they can focus on the urgent clinical needs.


IV pole cords

Clinical assistants & nurses on the oncology ward looked at the cluttered cords and tubes on IV poles, which impact patients and staff, and knew there had to be a better way.

After deconstructing the specific challenges of the IV pole,
a new approach arose that involved securing the cords through clips and other devices, including a 3D-printed cord winder. These will not only reduce the tripping hazard, but also simplify the process of distinguishing IV tubes from one another.

Recycling Project

In building towards an environmental friendly hospital campus,

Rob Jewel, Director in Environmental Services, built on an initiative to separate waste into separate bins. Rob observed diners
and noticed that simple lack of awareness contributed heavily
to recycling bin contamination. He compared it to the separated bins he saw at supermarkets and college campuses. To encourage recycling, he clarified what material belonged in which bins by accompanying the bins with physical visuals of each waste stream. 

Flu Sign Sprint.JPG

flu signage redesign

Led by Hubsters Joe Sigrin & Janet Satter, this project redesigned
the flu season signage around the hospital. The team, including
infection prevention and marketing staff,
gave heavy consideration to wording,
as the goal was not to alarm but to inform.
They tested several iterations of the posters,
which will be distributed around the hospital.



magnetic whiteboards

Communication between health providers is crucial not onlyto the providers but to the patients themselves. Sarah, a Sibley nurse, came into the Hub with the desire to decrease workflow and time while protecting patient safety and privacy. After interviews and other research, a whiteboard with easy to move, color-coded magnets detailing a patient’s code status, acuity level, and contamination precautions proved to increase efficiency in the ICU.

With less time reviewing charts, nurses and physicians had more time interacting with the patients.  


design team training

The Sibley Innovation Hub’s “d.team training” is a day-long workshop
held every month in the Hub. The training introduces
the Listen, Imagine, Do human-centered design process
through hands-on learning, including live interview practice, brainstorming and physical prototyping. Participants gain basic skills
in conducting user research and understanding
the iterative process of design thinking.
Tickets are available to Hopkins staff, patients, care partners,
and other community members at www.sibleyhub.com.


~ Learn more about our process at listenimaginedo.com ~