Across the nation, increased prescribing of opioid medication for pain management has led to widespread misuse. Due to the large number of pills prescribed, greater than 70% go unused by patients and are often left easily accessible within their homes. In
collaboration with Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan OPEN), the design team sought to investigate the current practice of patient education regarding opioid use and abuse within the perioperative setting.
REFLECTION / LESSON LEARNED
I became aware that a hospital is a place with a structure that is both deeply fragmented as well as complicated. Each phase of the surgical process involved its own separate stakeholders, and when the team held its final presentation, we received positive feedback that we were the first to take a holistic approach to addressing the opioid issue in the surgical process. This project taught me the intrinsic value of possessing a systemic perspective as a designer.
I also discovered the value of a patient’s story. For the most part, design insight was developed through communication with patients, and I came to think that there was nothing that tells as good a story as meaningful and provocative data. As a patient’s experience is holistic, it was possible to broaden our understanding of the problem space by building empathy with the patients.