Lancaster Physician Spring 2020 - 16

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Best Practices

Practice Management Insights

ADDRESSING THE ISSUES, CHALLENGES, AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT IMPACT TODAY'S MEDICAL PRACTICES

Design Thinking

IN PRACTICE
RENEE MITZEL,
B.S., OCS, COE

Practice Administrator
at Manning, Rommel
& Thode Associates

I

n private physician practice, the rewards
are high, but the challenges continue to
increase. The regulatory environment
requirements continue to evolve. New
operational techniques and process improvements, such as design thinking, are necessary to
meet these challenges and provide an optimal
patient experience.

make changes for the patients' experience and
for the entire practice.

As administrators in physician private practice, we must continue to evaluate processes
that create meaningful innovative techniques.
The concept of design thinking embraces
the divergence of patient engagement with a
human-centered focus.

2. Define - Reflect on observations from
the empathy phase and begin to shape
specific problems derived from it. Develop
a meaningful problem statement. What are
you trying to accomplish?

Many of the principles within the design
thinking framework mimic the physician
oath. These parallels generate a platform
for creativity and idea generation. It is a
non-traditional approach to problem solving.
It's about the time and investment needed to

The Elements of Design Thinking
1. Empathy or Empathize - This phase of the
process focuses on the people who are experiencing the challenge. Express understanding
and utilize active listening. Observe and engage.

3. Ideate - Engage a multidisciplinary team to
generate a large volume of ideas. Brainstorm with
traditional and non-traditional stakeholders.
Stakeholders may include office staff, physicians, medical assistants, patients, and other
interested parties.

LANCASTER

16

PHYSICIAN

4. Prototype - Transform ideas from the
ideate phase into active ideas. Break them into
smaller segments with the user in mind. Learn
from failed ideas and select the most effective
components for the selected idea.
5. Test - Provide an opportunity to solicit
feedback and empathize with the end users
to validate the helpful prototype idea. Show;
don't tell.
The elements of design thinking replicate many
of the concepts we are familiar with in the health
care setting. We listen to patients as they describe
their chief complaints and offer their health
histories. Physicians use patient information
along with their practice's specialized expertise
to formulate diagnoses and treatment plans. This
is the traditional process we are accustomed to
following. However, taking the design thinking
process further into the daily operations of
a private practice requires the entire team to



Lancaster Physician Spring 2020

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