Illuminate HC

Illuminate HC

We worked with Illuminate HC, winner of the McKnight Tech Award, on an engagement retainer to rethink post-hospital care. We combined in-depth research and analysis and service/experience design to reinvent the bedside call-light mechanisms and improve the level of service in local facilities. The result was a thoughtfully designed, end-to-end technology ecosystem of tablets and wearables that improved response time and coordination of healthcare staff.

6 Months
Tablet / Watch

Reduce call-light response time and improve the level of service in post-hospital care facilities.

The Outcome

A renewed confidence in the call-light system with a modern UI and device ecosystem that reduced response times by 50%.

Call-Light Research Driving Design Considerations

The initial research revealed that delays in call-lights could be reduced by hourly rounding by staff and a lack of trust by the patient that it actually works. We also explored different response paradigms, and based on research decided on a Centralized Paradigm in which the single triage operates remotely and distributes information.

Quick and Snappy Navigation

To minimize cognitive load for staff when things get busy, we architected the product's anatomy for quick and intuitive navigation; moving in and out of different workflows with just a few taps.

Anatomy of early prototypes for the tablet and watch experience.

Low-Maintenance Task Automation

We needed a way to deactivate the call light before choosing the task description, and keeping the call card available without it disappearing. Therefore, we designed affordances for the QB to choose from three options when receiving a new call notification: Cancelling a call, selecting a task for distribution and dismissing. Thereafter, once the QB attends to the patient and assesses needs, selects task, he or she can quickly distribute for automatic assignment. To reduce any bottles necks in the workflow, we designed a mechanism where, at any given moment, the app can assign a priority ranking for each staff member.

Code Blue: Life or Death Situations

With "Code Blue." an emergency situation which a patient is in cardiopulmonary arrest, requiring all staff members rush to the specific location. We were careful in our design considerations, accounting for every possible scenario in which a code blue would need to be communicated on all devices and in all environments.


Since the system’s implementation, piloted at Warren Barr Gold Coast in Chicago, there has been a 39% reduction, a 20% reduction in call-light response time after the first quarter of deployment, and a 50% reduction by the fourth quarter.

We thought we had to search for designers in Silicon Valley for this level of work. Turns out we were wrong.
Scott Sklar, Director of Research and Development

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