There is a rift between doctors and patients in the perception and value of the conversation that happens in the office setting. Doctors believe that in the time that they have they do what they must to make a treatment decision for a patient or ensure that they are being served in the best way. Patients believe that doctors can do more and feel that they make decisions for them rather than with them. Successful communication can lead to improved health outcomes.
Our work has challenged preconceived notions that doctors have about the level of education that their patients are willing to receive. We use experience prototypes to roleplay these conversations and employ methods of participatory design to uncover how to make them better. Through this process we’ve found that doctors are willing to change their conversational approach if they find that patients value it.