Service Design for Government
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A DAV van parked outside a Veterans Affairs medical center

Why: Based on Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP) scores and other data sources, the Veterans Health Administration knew there was significant opportunity to improve veterans’ inpatient experience. The Veterans Experience Office engaged our team on a strategic research and design effort focused on understanding and improving the inpatient experience during hospitalization, from admission to discharge.

What: After talking with more than 200 patients and health care providers at VA medical centers, clinics, and veterans homes, we determined that improvements to the inpatient discharge process would have the highest rate of impact on the overall patient experience. In response to this finding, we created an easy-to-follow, interactive visual representation of the veteran’s journey from hospitalization to discharge. This design solution helps medical center staff foster trust and set expectations in an uncertain process while encouraging veterans to be more active participants in their own health care and enabling them to track their progress towards leaving the hospital. In addition to helping improve the veteran experience, the design solution is meant to help educate veterans and lessen their likelihood of readmission. Even a 10% reduction in readmission has the potential to save the VA over $20 million annually.