Category Archives: #design

The Patient Waiting Room Rethought

Photo curtesy of Joseph Babaian (@JoeBabaian)

Yesterday Joe sent this tweet asking the #HCLDR family their opinions on the opportunities for improving the design within the above spaces.

My initial gut reaction, as many other people, was in pointing out the obvious. Things such as the TV, the picture on the wall, the chairs, the framed signed on the table, a lamp that is off, etc.

I even questioned the need for a waiting room? In theory, no patient should have to wait, and therefore, the waiting room could be eliminated.

As I began to ponder the question during my 2 hour drive today, I began to reframe the question in my mind.

Instead of asking what is wrong with the space or how to improve the design or the need for a waiting room, I started to think about challenges patients highlight.

Topics that we discuss during the weekly chats of #HCLDR.

What if we reframe and ask ourselves the following:

How can we help patients connect with one another?

In thinking about the space above (left picture specifically), I would rearrange the furniture to be in small circles or groups versus in a line.

Perhaps instead of the local news or Ellen on the TV I would show video’s from YouTube about nutrition, or the clinicians, or an important topic that is relevant to the community of patients congregating.

Maybe I would have a social worker in the space to help facilitate sharing, asking questions, and prepping/introducing those new patients with those that are coming back for a follow up.

Maybe the space should be more about sharing our stories, our common experiences, our fears, our questions with one another and use it as a learning opportunity? Maybe this is the space where we impact health literacy. Or address access to improved nutrition. Or share resources within the community.

Perhaps the space has nothing to do with waiting, but everything with building a tribe of patients that share a common thread and can learn from one each other’s experience.

Perhaps knowing a patient like me, the one sitting next to me, helps me realize that we do things like this.

We connect. We share. We learn. We grow.

Perhaps care at the N of 1 begins by connecting patients in the waiting room?

Let’s rename it the sharing room.

As always you can feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek



Good Fucking Healthcare Advice…

A year ago I had a creative moment to launch a new site, a new brand, and a new endeavor called Good Fucking Healthcare Advice. I found the inspiration during a #HCLDR tweet chat in which I made the comment that “…healthcare needs to shut up and fucking listen more.”

The inspiration came from one of my favorite sites that I use often to help generate my own creativity. The site is called: Good Fucking Design Advice. (link here)

I wrote a letter to Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher and shared my idea with the both of them. To combine my healthcare industry knowledge with their take on design advice and inject a bit of disruption into healthcare.

To my delight, Jason took the time to respond to me.

Jason encouraged me to take the idea and run with it.

“…feel free to use GFDA’s advice, change it, sculpt it, and to incorporate it into healthcare and make it my own. Just as long as I respect where the advice comes from, it is there for the world to use.”

So with that, I am launching a new series of brief posts, with advice, and images to be used in healthcare.

The posts, the advice, and the images are for all of us.

Whether you are a person living in a community that may need to use healthcare, a current patient, or an allied health professional, the advice is for anyone impacted or touched by healthcare.

It is for those of us that give a damn about other people. Those of us that believe healthcare begins and ends with the person in front of us. Those of us that want to put the Me back into Medicine.

I can’t force you to do anything. The choice to read, share, care, and make a dent in the universe is your own. The choice between love or fear is on you. The choice to stop and fucking listen to patients is yours.

I choose to lead by example.

I pick myself.

I share my voice because it matters.

Healthcare should only be fucking scaled by the N of 1.

Make access to healthcare fucking easy

As always you can feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek