Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Original Article

Design thinking applied to the health sector: A case study in a Brazilian hospital

Ana Luisa Cordeiro Santos, Anna Luisa Tavares Neto, Maria Theresa Tavares Neto, Eduardo Romeiro Filho

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Being innovative is an important feature for companies that wish to be competitive and survive in the marketplace. However, there are different paths that could lead to innovation and different approaches that emerge with the intention to help companies innovate. Design Thinking is one of these approaches. It proposes an innovation process centered on the user that can be applied to a wide array of contexts. This study aims to describe the application of Design Thinking in the health sector, report the experience gained, and analyze the results. Initially, the literature on the subject was reviewed, including the main models of Design Thinking in Brazil and other countries. The approach was applied to the hemodialysis unit of a hospital in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The main goal was to innovate and improve the experience of patients in their first week of hemodialysis sessions. Finally, the results were analyzed, a contrast between what was planned and what was actually done was studied, and a comparison between the literature and the practice was established. The study issue is fairly recent and there were not many cases for comparison. In this particular project, it was not possible to prove that the approach improved the experience of hospital patients.


design thinking, healthcare, design methodology.
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