Healthcare Design Jam brings new approaches to thorny problems

Healthcare Design Jam brings new approaches to thorny problems


Innovative approaches to some of health’s thorniest problems emerged from a recent Design Jam at the World Hospital Congress facilitated by leading health and human-centred design experts from Nous Group.

A Design Jam brings together people from a variety of disciplines with an open mind to think creatively and collaboratively about problems, developing solutions that none alone could design. Participants seek to dissect the problem from different perspectives and build upon each other’s experience and ideas.

The October 11 event in Brisbane brought together leading thinkers on healthcare from around the world to develop new approaches to issues including:

  • how to better manage patients’ quality of life after they leave hospital
  • how to make hospital care and chronic disease management more human-centred
  • how to address high rates of stress and burnout among doctors.

The Design Jam, on behalf of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, was led by Nous Group along with Hacking Health Queensland, part of a global movement working to improve healthcare by breaking down barriers to innovation and bringing diverse stakeholder groups together.

Nous Group’s Kirsty Elderton, an experienced facilitator and human-centred design practitioner, led the Design Jam. “The Jam focused on designing solutions that change outcomes for people,” she said. “Events like this show what can be achieved in short amounts of time when we bring health practitioners, designers and consumers together.”


The Design Jam took participants through a rapid design process, including discovery, defining the problem, designing and prototyping a solution, testing the solution and considering implementation.

Richard Ainley, national leader of Nous Group’s Health and Ageing practice, said: “The rapid design approach brings together diverse expertise and creativity in a way that cuts through the complexity of healthcare. It quickly generates practical solutions that positively impact patients and staff.”

At the climax of the Design Jam, sets of participants pitched their ideas to the rest of the group. Videos of the pitches are available online:

Alison Verhoeven, CEO of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, said the Jam was a great tool for finding solutions to healthcare problems. “Together you create something even better than what was there previously,” she said. “The end product is a creative plan or set of achievable solutions.”

Nous Group partners with leading organisations at every level to design creative, human-centred solutions to some of healthcare’s biggest challenges. Our distinctive approach brings together deep industry expertise, leaders in design thinking and consumers of health services to create positive influence and performance in healthcare.