Redesigning the MS patient experience - it’s all about preparation
Author: Zoé Martial (2018)
Supervisory team: Marijke Melles (mentor), Gert Pasman (mentor), Dr. B.A. de Jong (mentor), Dr. O.C. Damman (mentor)
Partners: MS Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, TU Delft
The MS Center Amsterdam has started a new Second Opinion Multiple Sclerosis and COGnition screening (SOMSCOG) outpatient clinic to research cognitive problems of MS patients. The design goal was to “create a tool that will help patients to prepare for their hospital visit, that will guide them through the day and provide an overview of the whole journey. This tool should improve the overall patient experience and make a positive impact on the patient’s quality of life”.
A literature study on patient centred strategies showed that patient experience has an influence on quality of life. This connection shows the benefit of improving patient experience to create a positive effect on quality of life.
User research methodologies have been employed, including interviews, contextmapping and observations, resulting in a patient journey. It showed that needs and underlying values of MS patients visiting the clinic are transparency, clarity and honesty. The user study also exposed an interesting problem: patients have difficulties preparing for visit of the outpatient clinic, resulting in suboptimal formulated help requests.
‘De Gids’ has been developed: a toolkit, which patients can use to prepare themselves for the screening day of the SOMSCOG outpatient clinic. ‘De Gids’ consists of a folder, an information guide and a preparation sheet.
The information guide contains information of the screening day such as the schedule, possible outcomes and treatment options, as well as a conversation starter to trigger patients in sharing their concerns around cognitive problems with someone close to them. The preparation sheet contains questions, preparing patients for the consultation with a neurologist on the screening day, resulting in a better-formulated help request. Consequential, diagnoses are more tailored to patients’ needs and treatment options might be more effective, ultimately resulting in better care and improved quality of life.