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Published On: 11 June 2014
Organisation: Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences
Level of government: Local government, Regional/State government
Sector: Education, Health, Social protection
Type: Methods, Public Service
Launched in: 2012
Overall development time: 9 months
This innovation deals with service design as a participation enhancing tool in public health and social services. The project is piloting innovative service design methods with service providers, personnel, third sector actors, third agers and elderly people living in assisted living facilities. The process consists of co-designing, envisioning, testing, prototyping and implementing. The main goal is to support elderly people and personnel’s wellbeing and inclusion by co-developing services and working methods.
The project combines research and practice to improve participants’ empowerment. One central principle is to produce knowledge of the lives of elderly people and working methods in elderly care, and to use this knowledge as a basis for co-developing services. Co-design can be understood as a user-shared design process where the service is designed collaboratively with service users, local residents, service providers and professionals. Usability of the service is more likely to be achieved when the users’ needs and ways of thinking are the starting point for the design process, and when the users’ feedback is taken seriously.
Service design methods provide an innovative way for residents to participate in the planning and development of service provision through user-driven innovation activities. Increasing indoor and outdoor amenities and enhancing a sense of community were the concrete development targets.
Develop staff capacity, Improve access, Improve effectiveness, Improve service quality, Improve social equity, Improve user satisfaction, Increase citizen engagement
Elderly people, Government staff, People with disabilities
University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio has a research project called “service design for elderly” funded by the Finnish Fund for Innovation and Technology at Savonia. In this project, service design was used to innovate service concepts that promote multi-channel and public-private sector service solutions.
Similar private projects in small scale are managed by SNOOK public service design company in Glasgow, Scotland.
The quality of service is increased due to user-driven development. Co-design methods have increased communication between residents and personnel.
Also local stakeholders’ involvement has increased due to the use of co-design methods. Method has also increased local self-supportive development (development targets: indoor and outdoor amenity, sense of community) and contributed to the ensuring of continuity of development.
Participation and inclusion of residents and personnel has increased. Control over one’s physical and psycho-social environment is also increasing.
A new method of developing (i.e. co-design) is applied. A method that is sensitive in taking into account different parties’ needs.
There was a user based evaluation through questionnaires, audio and video taping of workshops.
Methods were used in different phases of the design process: research phase, concept/design phase and operational phase. The following co-design methods have been used in workshops:
The aim was to use methods to support communication, to create common understanding and to create an overall picture of the service and through that to find service challenges to solve together in groups. The IKÄEHYT team was facilitating this process but when the groups started to implement their service ideas, responsibility started to transfer to personnel.Testing time: 1 month
Co-operative planning and implementation of plans through division of responsibilities and planning of continuous action.
Financial challenges, reconciliation of needs and available means, participation of older persons with challenges (e.g. dementia).
Ensuring the even-handed participation: since in this specific case most of the clients were people with dementia etc., it was challenging to involve them. There was also a different working culture where customer’s participation was lower. IKÄEHYT-team used several visual tools that seemed to solve the problem.
Instilling of new methodology (new in social and healthcare): the first aim from the client point of view was that they wanted to develop an environment but after the design process, the client started to understand that development work was about changing the working culture in the long term.
The library’s role in IKÄEHYT project was to produce basic services to the small villages in addition to offer regular library services. The library’s own bus offers library services to three Northern Finnish municipalities. People in small villages (sometimes as small as 8 people per village) want to live longer in their homes and this kind of “multi- services” can support that.
They are supporting services for senior citizens e.g. concepts that have been produced in IKÄEHYT project can be brought to implementation. These kinds of 3rd sector actors have an important role in continuity when providing basic services.
Residents and relatives of the nursing home for elderly in the planning and implementation phase. They were part of co-designing and co-implementation.
The most important factors are enabling communication, engaging people, creating common understanding and overall picture. IKÄEHYT-project team had a very important role when facilitating and supporting teams. All these factors must occur at the beginning of the design process. Actual brainstorming phase and the design phase were quite fluent, but when it came to the implementation phase, the guidance and tools were required.