Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Russian writer, once said: “Beauty Will Save the World!”. This is a provocative statement. With health care in what seems perpetual crisis, it might be worth asking – can beauty can save health care? This is not about being pretty. If beauty saved health care it would be about artful service design. Service design that brings joy to health care providers and patients.
Processes are the things that weaves people, tools and information together in health care. Health care process design is, to a manager, what a paint brush is to an artist.
What are you doing when you are changing your health care processes? Are you improving them? Maybe you’re streamlining them, making them more efficient or more value adding?
Or do you try to make them beautiful?
Other ways of thinking about processes can fall short:
Your clients interact with you through your processes. Your staff spend most of their working lives in your processes. Is it possible to make a process fun, a pleasure to be a part of, an experience to look forward to, joyful, to make it … beautiful?
I don’t think we strive to this level of achievement with processes, but we should.
No health care process is too mundane to beautify. Phone calls can be a pleasure, forms can be satisfying and communication can be enriching. Making a health care process beautiful respects the impact that it has on people and their lives. A beautiful process would deliver what people need, is not wasteful, and would be uplifting to experience.
Isn’t beauty – the experience of pleasure and satisfaction often in the presence of another – what makes life worth living? Save some room for considering beauty when designing a health care process.
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