Archive for the ‘Health Concerns’ Category
Posted by Plish on November 23, 2011
There is a recent study that says that giving thanks helps reset our emotions and actually makes us feel happier. Feeling happier and more centered means we’re coming from a more relaxed place, and it’s from these happy places that creativity flows more easily. The article gives a great suggestion for making sure that we keep a thankful disposition: A Thankfulness Journal. This is something that I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on more frequently.
I also want to share this post from two years ago. It’s about changing the world via our thankfulness. It’s also a great tool to use in conjunction with a Thankfulness Journal. It’s called the “Thankfulness Process for Designing a Better World.”
Click Image for Full Size
Thank YOU for your support through the years. I truly am grateful. May you all have a wonder-filled and joyous Thanksgiving Holiday!
Posted in Creative Environments, creativity, Emotions, Health Concerns, Nature of Creativity, Research, stress, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: creativity, health, innovation, stress relief, thankfulness, thanksgiving, wellness | 3 Comments »
Posted by Plish on November 13, 2011
We all know the effects of high blood pressure: increased heart disease, kidney disease, stroke. Now there is one more thing to add to the mix: Emotional Apathy.
Research shows that increased blood pressure is associated with the deadened ability to pick up on emotional cues. Without the ability to pick up on emotional cues, tension and pain points camouflage into the background. When everything becomes vanilla, finding the insight that foments the next great thing becomes all the more difficult.
So how do you keep your empathic edge?
Research shows there are effective approaches (outside of drugs) that are pretty easy for anyone to implement. Remember the Blood Pressure Control MEME:
Minimize exposure to first and second-hand smoke
Humans are wonderful innovation machines, but like any machine, they need to be maintained. Keep an eye on your blood pressure and your ability to see emotions in others will stay sharp – as will your ability to be innovative.
Posted in Behavioral Science, cognitive studies, Customer Focus, Design, Emotions, Health Concerns, innovation, meditation, problem solving, Research, Service Design, Society, stress, The Human Person, Wellness | Tagged: Design, design and empathy, design research, empathy, healthy eating, heart health, high blood pressure, innovation, service design, wellness | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on October 9, 2011
To keep creative productivity at its optimum, it’s important to be able to detect when we’re overstressed so we can decompress and allow the creativity to flow. However, sometimes people get so caught up in trying to be productive that the ability to detect stress gets dulled. Here’s an interesting technology that can help people detect when they’re pushing themselves (or being pushed) too hard.
Posted in creativity, Health Concerns, innovation, Medical Devices, Research, The Human Person, Wellness | Tagged: creativity, human health, innovation, stress, wellness, Workplace Creativity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on September 16, 2011
In the past I wrote about the health impact of open plan office spaces and their impact on creativity.
Now it appears that open office spaces, intended to foster interaction, instead foster territorial behaviours that undermine collaboration.
Professor of Strategic Management, Stephen Cummings, who led the study said,
“The intent of taking away dividing walls and doors is usually to improve creativity and performance by fostering spontaneous fun, interaction and sharing…However, we found evidence that it can lead to attempts by employees to re-create spatial and social structures and boundaries, actually undermining the behaviours an organisation is trying to encourage.
…most teams marked out their territory with posters, slogans and personal items, even moving furniture to create their own personalised space, which seemed to put other teams off moving into that space. Employees also tended to use the activity rooms in their established team groups at separate times rather than mingling with other teams.”
He also mentioned that people felt that they lacked privacy and hence they had to be more rigid in their behaviours and hence less innovative.
So what to do? Well the obvious step is to create a mix of open and private space, understand what your people are like, and build an environment that plays to individual strengths, needs and personalities. “One size fits all,” isn’t the way to an innovative culture.
Posted in Architectural Design, Authenticity, Behavioral Science, Case Studies, creativity, culture of innovation, Health Concerns, innovation, Nature of Creativity, Team-Building, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: behavioral science, creativty, culture of creativity, culture of innovation, human authenticity, innovation, open office space, open plan office | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on June 24, 2011
Came across this article about how current measures aren’t addressing wrong site surgeries as much as hoped. So it got me to thinking that perhaps something like the below solution could be used to help minimize these adverse events. The patient’s bar code is scanned and the surgery team is presented with the preferred orientation of the patient for that surgery, and the location of the surgery on the patient. Three people, including the surgeon, have to cross-check the patient with the information presented. When all check boxes are filled, the surgery can proceed and hopefully at the proper site.
Suggestions and thoughts are welcome!!
Click for Full Size
Posted in Customer Focus, Design, Health Concerns, Healthcare, Information Visualization, innovation, software, User Interface | Tagged: adverse events, Design, healthcare, innovation, ipad, iPhone, surgery, Tablet PC, Technology, wrong site surgery | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on April 30, 2011
A little over a year ago I blogged on optimizing your environment for creative output. I also wrote about the pros and cons of open office plans.
I wanted to share this article from today’s Wall Street Journal that touches on both of the above topics. One amazing tidbit:
…Researchers at Ohio State University and the National Institute of Mental Health tracked 60 white-collar workers at a government facility in the central U.S. Some had been randomly assigned to an old office building, with low ceilings and loud air-conditioners. The rest got to work in a recently renovated space filled with skylights and open cubicles.
For the next 17 months, the scientists tracked various metrics of emotional well-being, such as heart-rate variability and levels of stress hormone. They discovered that people working in the older building were significantly more stressed, even when they weren’t at work. The scientists said the effect was big enough to be a potential risk factor for heart disease.
All this got me thinking about how early philosophers and politicians carried out their discussions in open air forums, surrounded by fresh air and blue sky. They dreamed of ways of improving the world, becoming better people, and their imaginations would soar.
We are indebted to their innovative thinking still, today.
I wonder how much more creative and effective our elected officials would be if their sessions were in an open air environment, without rows of desks and aisles, no left or right…
Their work might actually have the freedom to soar,
and we, likewise…
Posted in Architectural Design, Behavioral Science, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, Design, Health Concerns, idea generation, innovation, Politics, The Senses, Wellness, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: brainstorming, Creative Environments, creative thinking, creativity, government, health, human nature, innovation, interior design, politics, wellness | 3 Comments »
Posted by Plish on August 12, 2010
So, you’re having a tough time getting your exercise time in and eating right? But, what can you expect?
You get home from work and you’re just plain tired. You don’t want to cook, so you grab a quick snack that you picked up at the store and you nuke it, or you run out for a bite, which you really don’t feel like doing because you’re tired.
And working out? Forget it. Either there are family commitments or commitments to friends, or worse, that proposal needs to be done by tomorrow and you need to get going on it before it gets too late.
Morning comes and the routine starts over again….
Ahhh, the word sounds so sweet. When it arrives it’s even sweeter. Time to get out of Dodge, get away from all the hassles - far away if possible. If we can’t get out-of-town, at least we change the routine – get some extra sleep, go out and have some fun, which usually includes food and drink - sometimes more than is prudent, or healthy.
But does that mean that we should ditch the vacation if we want to be healthier?
The fitness columnists over at The Washington Post and dietician Felicia Stoler, host of TLC’s reality show “Honey We’re Killing the Kids,” recommend taking a health based Staycation. What is this comprised of?
Instead of sightseeing, you’ll explore how to build more physical activity into your daily life and figure out smarter ways to shop for groceries and plan meals. It’s unlikely you’ll lose 10 pounds in a week like they do on TV. But by getting a jump-start on an exercise routine in your own neighborhood and cooking in your own kitchen, you’re setting yourself up to continue these behaviors even when real life kicks in again.
In other words, utilize the time of your vacation to design a healthier you.
On the one hand this sounds like a good idea. After all, why wouldn’t such a vacation be good for you? On the other, it sounds like a recipe for setting yourself up for disaster – where you’re proud of yourself for spending a week eating healthy, hitting the gym, and cooking your own meals, but crushed after you get back into your daily routine (See red text above) and you can’t get to the gym, can’t cook your own meals, and can’t seem to get enough time for yourself for sleep or recreation.
The article itself points out this could be a problem:
The key is remembering that you need to make these changes part of your regular routine, says physician Arthur Frank, founder and co-director of the George Washington University Weight Management Program. “A week of working out is essentially useless unless you can continue it,” he says.
And without a real itinerary, you could fall into the trap of snacking to alleviate boredom. “Most people do well much of the day until it becomes unstructured,” Frank says.
This is a design problem. This particular design problem requires empathy and understanding of what Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Design, design thinking, Food, Health Concerns, Healthcare, innovation, problem solving, The Human Person, Wellness, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: creative workout schedules, designing healthcare, employee health, health, healthcare innovation, staycation, vacation, weight control, wellness, working out | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on May 20, 2010
At any one time around the world, 1.4 million people are suffering from infections acquired in hospitals. It adds almost 7 billion in cost per year to healthcare facilities and impacts families and people in tragic ways
What really makes these infections even more tragic is that most of them are preventable through changes in behaviour.
To increase awareness and educate healthcare providers, Kimberly-Clark has started the “Not on My Watch” campaign. Instead of waiting for institutions to train their employees, Kimberly-Clark is cruising around the country with the “HAI (Healthcare Associated Infection) Education Bus,” a mobile classroom bringing CE accredited courses right to the doorstep of hospitals.
Additional info videos are available on this website along with additional references.
Overall, this is a pretty slick idea to bring CE accredited courses to clinicians as opposed to them having to schedule time away from their work. Kimberly-Clark should be applauded for their efforts in keeping HAI’s in the forefront of people’s minds.
There are two issues here though that could be improved upon.
First, there doesn’t seem to be any succinct, articulated goal. Yes, the purpose here is to keep healthcare workers updated on the most current trends in infection management and to bring down the incidence of HAI’s. But, nowhere is there an explicit goal as there was in the 5 Million Lives Campaign. The use of the phrase, “Not on my watch,” while powerfully motivating to individuals to prevent HAI’s while they’re on the floor, has a built-in blame as in: “That happened on your watch,” when something happens. Yes, blame can be a powerful motivator as well, but no one wants towork under fear.
Second, research has shown that educational campaigns are only as good as the systems into which they’re planted. In other words, people learn and people forget. Even when people know what the right thing to do is, pressures from hospital admins, superiors, patients and families, often result in the right thing not being done. I’ve personally witnessed well-educated nurses doing the wrong thing more times than I, or anyone, would like to see. A perusal of the Tools page , while full of treatment guidelines and recommendations, reveals little that most healthcare workers haven’t already been exposed to. That said, it is helpful to have these all in one place.
So, is this a good thing that K-C is doing? Of course! It’s admirable and good to educate.
But, what would be really cool, and would probably have more impact, is to have a bus full of designers that goes from hospital to hospital teaching them how to apply tools like positive deviance in improving healthcare outcomes.
Hmmmm, I wonder where I can get a bus….
Posted in Best Practices, Customer Focus, Design, design thinking, Health Concerns, Healthcare, innovation, problem solving | Tagged: 5 million lives campaign, design thinking, healthcare education, healthcare innovation, innovation, Kimberly-Clark, not on my watch, positive deviance | 2 Comments »