Care Clinic



7 months


Research and Strategy, Concept Development, Wireframes, Environment Design


Suzanne Choi, Grace Cha, Dayne Chung


Care Clinic

Re-imagining the future of the waiting room to gain holistic understanding of patients  


Care Clinic is a reimagining of the primary care check-in process and waiting room environment. Utilizing digital touch points and a welcoming environment, Care Clinic focuses on patients first by providing opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of the patient.



The purpose of this project was to explore the relationship and communication between physicians, patients and caregivers and understand the difficulties that elderly patients with chronic diseases face to design an intervention that would empower them to better understand, implement, and manage their conditions at home. 

How might we help elderly patients with chronic conditions better understand and manage their treatment plans at home?


Research + Process

We performed a variety of research focusing on in-depth interviews. Throughout the project, we spoke with elderly patients, who had a range of chronic conditions from diabetes to heart disease, to gain insight into the difficulties they faced, as well as for concept feedback.

I took the lead developing the interview guides for the different stakeholders, as well as acted as the primary interview facilitator for 13 in-depth interviews and 4 speed dating/co-design interviews.


  1. What are the difficulties that elderly patients experience managing their chronic conditions at home?

  2. What difficulties do elderly patients experience in relation to communication with their physicians?

  3. What strategies and resources do elderly patients currently utilize for at-home treatment management for both medical (medications) and lifestyle changes (exercise/diet)?

  4. Market research into what are the current alternative care models within the healthcare industry

The problem of communication in medicine is that it often focuses on clarity, not the discussion or persuasion. Doctors need to understand what works for patients, and what motivates them to actually do it.
— Subject Matter Expert 1
When the weather is not good, or the day is busy filled with meetings, or the gym is too far from my home, I don’t want to exercise as my physician told me to do.
— Patient 3
I wish I had someone to talk to who had been through something similar, because the physicians themselves don’t know how it feels or how scary it is. They have the knowledge but haven’t experienced the disease themselves.
— Patient 2

Patient Journey Map (includes environments, interactions with people, thoughts, and tools)


Based on the research we performed, we developed key insights which informed our design principles.


Key Insights

From our research, we developed 9 main insights. The following 4 insights relate most to our design outcome, Care Clinic.


It is important to consider a patient’s personal lifestyle goals and medical goals to develop personalized roadmaps.


A patient’s environmental and social context influences their daily routine which can affect the management of their treatment plan.


Patients desire to be able to connect to a patient community for support and advice and want their voice to be heard.


The current medical practices restricts and inhibits opportunities to obtain a holistic picture of the patient (ex. appointment times).

Wellness is different from healing. Wellness is what and how you want to live your life. How do I want to live, and what is that going to require me to do, and how do I continue on.
— Subject Matter Expert 2

Design Principles


Facilitate human interaction and help patients build supported bonds.


Adapt to personal needs and context and provide control and autonomy for patients.


Project a tone within interactions that will influence a positive attitude within patients.


Ensure each touchpoint builds on one another to help patients feel their voice is heard.


Project a tone within content that encourages voluntary participation.


Reduce cognitive load for elderly patients with cognitive and mobility impairments.


We explored concepts around 4 main topics: (1) Behavioral support, (2) Resource management, (3) Communication support, and (4) Community support.

The following demonstrates 3 concepts we explored and tested with elderly patients.


Meal Buddy

Mentor Matching



Through our concept ideation process, we were focusing on providing as many resources as we could within our ideas. After receiving feedback from elderly patients, we pared back and concentrated on the elements that they found most desirable: access to narrowed/personalized information and reducing administrative complexity.

While we were addressing at-home treatment adherence, we decided to shift our focus to addressing interactions within the office environment. We did this based on two factors we discovered from speaking with elderly patients:

Seniors have strong views of healthcare being associated with their doctors and the interactions within the office environment.

Communication and bedside manner greatly influences the patient’s receptiveness to the doctor’s recommendations.

By directly targeting elderly patients current perceptions of health and design opportunities to gain a more holistic understanding of patients within the office environment, physicians are able to provide better care for them, which in turn influences at-home treatment adherence.


Care Clinic

Care Clinic is a reimagining of the primary care check-in process and waiting room environment. Care Clinic aims to provide an opportunity to gain a holistic view of the patient to improve patient-doctor communication, which affects the patient’s receptiveness, attitude, and impression of the care they receive. 

patient journey.png


The CareText helps set a positive tone by reducing the stress that comes from managing multiple administrative tasks, such as arranging transportation and rescheduling appointments.  

In addition, the patient’s emotional status is collected enabling the clinic staff to tailor their approach in engaging with the patient to influence patient receptiveness to the doctor’s recommendations.

checkin intro.jpg


By rearranging the patient journey to use the check-in time more efficient, it allots more time for in-depth conversations between the patient and health providers.

When the patient arrives, they scan their Care Clinic ID card, confirm their personal information, and their vitals would be checked, all with the assistance from a Care Clinic health receptionist.



The CarePad provides an opportunity to gain insight into a patient’s living and social context. With this information, the doctor is able to better personalize treatment plans based on a patient’s capabilities and resource availability, to increase patient motivation and treatment adherence.

The patient also receives personalized service recommendations to enable greater autonomy in managing their condition at home. 



The patient is able to voice their expectations and priorities for the appointment, as well as any personal concerns they want to discuss with their doctor.  

With this information, the doctor can efficiently utilize the limited appointment time to have focused discussion and address the lifestyle burdens that may be mentally weighing on the patient.

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physician intro.jpg


Based on the information collected, personalized patient discussion guides are generated that the doctor can use to have targeted conversations with the patient and build personal relationships. 

In addition, suggestions on resources and services for the patient helps the doctor tailor treatment plans within patient capabilities and needs and promotes them to encourage patients to find an appropriate support system, when beneficial to treatment adherence.



Once home using the CareText, the patient can review their discharge instruction, which incorporates personal messages and a summary of the discussion from the appointment in language based on the patient’s cognitive ability and health literacy levels. 

In addition, the patient receives continuously support between appointments through personalized recommendations and information based the patient’s profile.



We designed Care Clinic as a welcoming space that promotes social interactions and influences a positive attitude within the patient. 

With an open layout with natural elements and uplifting colors, we centralized the important elements to facilitate social participation. In addition, there is private and communal seating available, so patients can choose based on their preferences. 

space01 (1).jpg


The CareWall is a space for patients to voice their personal experiences to build a supportive patient community. The purpose of these stories is to provide emotional support by helping others see that they are not alone in this journey.

Once the patient shares their story, it will appear anonymous on the wall with a time delay of 15 minutes. This invites patients to comfortably share their feelings and experiences, without worrying about being identified.

wall display.png

Future Considerations

This project was an exercise in developing a complete project from topic selection, in-depth research, and development of a design outcome. With my interest in design research and healthcare, I found the experience of leading research around the restricting factors that come with interacting with patients and medical professionals a great learning experience.

Because of the scope of our design concept, we did not have the opportunity to user test the flow of our service and focused on testing the individual touchpoints. For next steps, we need to test the service flow through prototyping.

For future studies, we believe it would be worth further looking into the following:

  1. AI & Personalization: Examine how big data and algorithm can provide insights into patient’s personal life outside of the hospital environment. 

  2. Automation & Documentation: Examine how emerging technology, such as speech recognition and natural language processing, can aid the physician documentation process to enable physicians to fully focus on patient conversations during the examination.

  3. Staffing and Training: Human interaction plays a significant role in patient experience. Examine the roles of care staff and determine how staffing and appropriate training should be administered. 

  4. Voice User Interface: How conversational interface can be utilized for more natural interaction at home environment to answer medical questions and collect information from patient.