Page 9 - Experience Based Co-design - a toolkit for Australia
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 Co-design is a way of bringing consumers, carers, families and health workers together to improve health services. Giving people an equal voice as active partners in health care improvement leads to better outcomes for all.
NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation
While the use of design thinking is widely used in many industries, the application of design thinking in health care is relatively young. It has already led to a range of publications and toolkits and a number of research studies. It was piloted in a head and neck service at a hospital in England in 2005-2006. This led to the ‘ebd approach’, a resource and toolkit developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. 1 A book was also published about bringing user experience to healthcare.2
In early iterations, it was simply called “experience based design”. Whilst early sites were capturing patient experience it became increasingly clear that they were paying insufficient attention to the co-design phase. The inclusion of “co-design” in the name emphasises the crucial nature of this element to achieving successful patient oriented outcomes.
The approach has gained increasing popularity and a global survey in 2013 discovered that experienced based co-design (EBCD) projects had been or planned to be implemented in over 60 health care organisations, in countries including Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States.3 The projects addressed a broad range of clinical areas including emergency medicine, drug and alcohol services, cancer services, paediatric diabetes care and mental health care.

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