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.

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.

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.



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.


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.

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.

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 ~