Co-Designing the Patient Experience

See Patients as Individuals First

Once upon a time, there was an ICU patient named Robert. Robert was not very responsive to verbal stimuli or requests such as: “Can you open your eyes for us?” or “Can you open your mouth so I can give you some medication?” Several days after Robert was admitted to the ICU, a family member told the staff that Robert actually goes by the name, “Bobby.” As soon as the care team stopped using his formal name, Bobby become more responsive, the first big step in what was eventually a full recovery.

Individuals First, Patients Second

The ICU team at Magee-Womens Hospital (MWH) of UPMC, where this scenario took place, had already been using the Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Methodology and Practice as a simple, six-step approach for transforming care delivery (See by viewing all care through the eyes of patients and families. The PFCC ICU Care Experience Working Group used this interaction with Bobby and his family as an opportunity to launch a project team with the goal of enhancing staff’s understanding of patients’ identities as individuals first, patients second. UPMC communication board


Knowing the Patient as a Person

All About Me is a simple poster which is displayed at the patient’s bedside. The patient (if able) and family help the care team get to know the patient on a personal level by helping to complete the poster, an excellent example of partnering with patients and families as full partners in co-designing ideal care delivery. In the ICU at MWH, families often take home the posters as a momento and some families have even displayed them at funeral homes.

Go Ahead: Borrow Brilliantly

One of the guiding principles of the PFCC Methodology and Practice is “borrowing brilliantly” – not letting successful care delivery improvements to linger within the silos in which they are first created. At UPMC, this project has been shared hospital-wide and across hospitals, which has led to a standardized poster design and branding. We hope others will take All About Me, adapt it to their own needs, and run with it.

For more information, contact Lauren Gorman,MSN,Unit Director, Magee-Womens Hospital Adult ICU at or 412-641-4834.


Pamela Greenhouse, VP, Clinical Operations, Wellbridge Health Pamela has 25+ years of leadership experience in healthcare operations, spanning the continuum of care (ambulatory, acute, rehabilitation, home care and long-term care). She joined Wellbridge Health, Inc. ( in 2016 as Vice-President, Clinical Operations. Wellbridge Health is a care management solutions company, the goal of which is to reduce hospital re-admissions and avoidable ER visits through integrated methods of tele-monitoring and health coaching by social workers and nurses. Ms. Greenhouse has co-authored over 30 papers in peer-reviewed scholarly journals with a focus on improving care delivery, patient centered care, patient engagement, and experienced based design. She has spoken nationally and internationally on these topics, as well. She holds an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior.

Pamela Greenhouse, VP, Clinical Operations, Wellbridge Health has 11 post(s) at

Check out my: Twitter LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *