Tag Archive | health

Service design meets RAI –evaluation system

Be open-minded

Yes, I have heard it, and I think I have even preached about it. Be open-minded. First and for most. That is how service designer should think, no doubt about it. Still, I have found myself being by and by too blindsighted. Last time this happened to me was few weeks ago. I waited my turn to give a presentation about service design in health care in a seminar which was concerning work with geriatric people (Kehittyvä vanhustyö 13-14.2.2017). Funny thing when going back in my mind to that situation, is that in my own presentation, I had quotation from Dalai Lama: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. When you listen, you may learn something new.”

What is RAI-evaluation system…actually?

Just before my presentation there was Development Manager Rauha Heikkilä from Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare given her presentation about RAI-evaluation system and its benefits while evaluating service needs of geriatric people. Abbreviation RAI has come to my knowledge when I have been doing service design with geriatric patients, nurses and doctors. But I haven’t really understood what it is. My preconception about RAI –evaluation system was that it is something that consumes a lot of face to face time from patients, nobody actually uses the results and something that is already out of date. So I was little bit suspicious about the subject, I have to admit.

Rauha Heikkilä started her presentation by talking about customer focus in different levels of producing services: strategic, tactic and operative. She pointed out that Primeminister Sipilä’s government programme for advancing Health and Welfare is executed by top projects. One main objective is to take customer oriented approach to development of health and welfare services. Then she started to talk about RAI (Resident Assessment Instrument) and how it can help to achieve this objective. RAI is a tool for decision-making and to support management. It helps to

  • predict the population service needs
  • develop services that are based on actual needs of customers
  • target customer services according to their needs
  • monitor the quality and the performance of services

 When Rauha Heikkilä moved on with her presentation my ears grew bigger. These were the words that talked my language. I started to pay more attention. I started to actually listen. I could have said same sentences in my presentation about service design and how it can support management. What I learned was that RAI- evaluation system is a comprehensive system for evaluating, monitoring and improving the quality of care and service. It is standardized system to information gathering and an instrument for observation of service needs of a customer. RAI –evaluation is examining customer’s ability to cope in everyday life, mental and cognitive condition, social performance and wellbeing, health condition, nutrition and feeling of pain. RAI –evaluation is examining patient as a holistic person. It is carried out with a customer. Yes, in co-creation with customer. Evaluation process starts with interview and observation of a person himself and his peers. Again sounds something that could have come out of my mouth while giving my service design presentation.

What I also learned was that RAI -evaluation system is a support system for different service providers to give more personalized service and service that answers better to customer’s actual needs. Geriatric patients with chronic illness and disability use variety of clinical and support services. With RAI-system there is always background knowledge about customers overall situation and thus it is possible to do better decisions for taking care of the geriatric patient. RAI-evaluation system enables planning standardized services for typical customer needs. Also service profiles can be planned with RAI-evaluation system.

Same goals. What can we do together?

While listening the presentation I didn’t find any conflicts between service design and RAI –evaluation goals. The goals are actually the same. I started to think what could be accomplish by combining these two methods. I brought up this idea to Professor of Geriatrics Jaakko Valvanne in a lunch discussion. He is acquainted with both methods and specialist with RAI- system. He clarified me that RAI – system is well deployed in Finland. However, he has seen that even in the best organizations, it really takes years to be able to use the results so that they actually help in developing services.

From the user’s (nurses and doctors) point of view, RAI system is difficult, complicated and troublesome in many ways. Professor Valvanne pointed out also that the results of the RAI –system should be first the results for the patient and his peers. Secondly results of organization. But are they easy to understand for ordinary people? Are they presented in a way that awakes interest? Could assets of service design help to make RAI –system more approachable, make the system more usable by understanding user needs better, simplify the process and the results by visualization and maybe make less serious by adding some fun and humor to it?

When thinking other way around, people who work in the field of geriatric patients, are acquainted with RAI –system. Could it be easier to accept service design as a serious development method, if these two are methods are offered hand in hand? There are similarities but also differences between these two methods. RAI –system is a data bank for designing services. Service design is more of qualitative and emphatic method.  If using these methods simultaneously, could it raise the benefits of the results in a different level?

Blending methods and thoughts

While finishing our lunch discussion with professor Valvanne we were both excited about this idea of service design meeting RAI –evaluation system. This seminar and enriching discussion after that cleared out to me that something unexpected may happen when you let yourself to be open. There is no only one right way of doing things. There are many. And if you are clever, you make these many ways overlap each other and you might find results that lead you to something totally new.

We might have another lunch and discussion around this subject with professor Valvanne and start something new by blending our thoughts more.

Playing it healthy in Laurea Game Jam

InstagramCapture_08e0923f-6862-4cdc-bdf2-cb36ab4228d8Last weekend I had the opportunity to focus on something I had never done before – producing an actual game from scratch. Laurea Game Jam (25th – 27th September) brought together know-how from programming, health and concept design to make games for adopting healthier lifestyle. One weekend and little less than 30 participants in five teams resulted in hundreds of new ideas wrapped up as five new game-for-health concepts.

Laurea Game Jam is part of European Jam Today network, which aims to support the gamification of education. Games are fun, innovative and natural way to learn. Game Jams have been organized in several European countries throughout the year 2015 with the same aim – to develop a game with healthy insight. And to make it more interesting, the best game will be awarded in each Game Jam, and all the winners will meet in Barcelona Jam Today Fair, where they will represent their final products.

Laurea Game Jam turned out to be inspiring, fascinating and challenging. 48 hours of brainstorming, designing, coding and thinking healthy turned out also victorious for our Team Bonfire as our game, the Hungry Cells, caught the first price! Hooray!

Jamming with the team

Game Jam offered actually two great challenges to tackle – to develop a game, of what I knew very little about, and form a well functioning team in 48 hours without knowing your team members beforehand. In my opinion the team is the most crucial factor in whatever you want to achieve. During the Game Jam weekend, I learnt a lot about game making, multicultural teamwork and myself.

I landed in a team with four others. Aleksander and Roman were students in Aalto University. They had a vision of a game that would teach children better habits. Me, Aida and Sari from Laurea MBA programmes joined jamming with these guys.

After one night of brainstorming I felt a little desperate. Many ideas were thrown in the air. I thought we would never hit the finish line in time. I shouldn’t have been that hasty as I was terribly wrong! We did manage to narrow down our thoughts to such an idea – an adventure in a blood vessel – that our Roman the Coder could start to work on the day two. Well done Team Bonfire 🙂

Developing the Hungry Cells

Roman used Cocos2d, which is a tool for coding iOS games. The first achievement was when he managed to create the scene of the game, the blood vessel. Yay, it moves! Then a cute little Red Cell showed up. While Roman was coding, Aleksander designed screenshots and I provided ideas that were based on actual functions of the human body to educate the players. Sari and Aida gathered information about healthy lifestyle.

Later on we started to hear funny sounds from the corner of the room where Roman was coding. He added his own music and self recorded sound effects. Soon the game had a name – the Hungry Cells – and it started to look and sound more and more as an actual game. It was fascinating!

The day three the whole picture of our game was clearing up. Some finalizing and bug detection had to be done and I worked on our presentation for the judges. Finally, after a tough competition, The Hugry Cells was announced as the winner! The Red Cell gets to go on stage in Barcelona Jam Today Fair in November. How exiting is that!

See the game and the presentation from Jam Today website (not published yet, but will be shortly).

Thank you for the great teamwork Roman, Aleksander, Aida and Sari!

Post written by Meiju Mäkinen, Laurea MBA student

Master thesis: Designing a service concept for the Finnish grocery trade

by Melanie Wendland, melanie.wendland@gmail.com

Here is a little wrap up of my thesis I just delivered.

Background & Research objective

There is an increased discussion in the news worldwide that people today suffer from health consequences that can be traced back to wrong food consumption. The food consumption many people are used to is on one hand adapted to fit our busy lives and on the other hand promoted by a food industry that tries to maximize profits and increase sales. Especially in Finland, the grocery trade business is organized around making people buy processed, ready made meals.

In contrast to this there is a rising trend of slow living, meaning that people try to decrease speed of life and put more attention to the lifestyle we used to have before life got optimized for efficiency: home grown food, hand prepared and consumed with enjoyment and time. Customers start demanding more transparency, variety and focus on health in the food they consume. Against this backdrop the question arises whether supermarkets in the future should play an active role in educating their customers in a healthy nutrition and take responsibility for their customer’s wellbeing with regards to food consumption.

This gap between changing customer needs and the lack of health supporting services in the grocery trade represents the opportunity for this thesis. The aim of the thesis was to develop a new service concept for the Finnish grocery trade, which encourages supermarket customers to choose healthier and sustainable food.

 Approach & Theory

There are three main theoretical discussions that build the relevant base for the context of the report. The thesis first looks at what a service concept is and how service concept is has been discussed in the academe. The thesis shows that there is no unified accepted definition of the term but the reviewed literature suggests a few common characteristics. The service concept communicates the customer benefit or value of a service idea to stakeholders, employees or customers and should include information about brand and marketing, highlight the strategic intent of the organization, specify the experience the customer receives and describe operational tasks and activities. To make the service concept definition tangible and usable for the context of service design, I mapped service design tools to the characteristics of the service concept. These tools make up the service concept developed in the empirical part of the thesis.

Thesis Structure Melanie Wendland

Thesis Structure Melanie Wendland

In ‘Designing for the grocery trade’ the thesis explores what kind of aspects are relevant when developing new services that deal with food and consumption behavior in supermarket environments. Influencing people’s behavior towards positive change is a challenging task and research suggests that within the context of nutrition supermarket interventions and games have been successful approaches. There are many trends that suggest that changes in customer behavior is changing the way supermarket will function in the future and that business need to react to these in order to stay on the market.

Finally ‘Transformative Services’ as the third theoretical base looks at the concept of services that intent to change the behavior of individuals or groups in order to foster wellbeing among them. Even though research in this area is still limited and recent, there seems to be a common notion that transformative services are considered a way for service business to survive in challenging times of market saturation and lack of differentiation. In order to make the theory of transformative services tangible for the use of developing a service concept, I point out eight ingredients that add transformative character to services.


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