TALK: Don’t Forget the Humans!
Friday, August 27th
Don’t Forget the Humans! This is the mantra in world of healthcare, and over and over again we hear that “patient-centered care” is the perfect desired state. But what about all those other humans in the system? What about the nurses, pharmacists, doctors, transporters and business people? Designing and planning your business for just one type of human not only alienates others, but it actually could be the reason for design failure and solutions that don’t sustain the tests of time.
Our group at Kaiser designs for the humans in our system; we optimize the experience of our patients and clinicians so that the system serves them and their needs, and brings as much joy to their interaction that is, well…. as humanly possible.
Christi Zuber is a nurse with a passion for design. She is the director of the Innovation Consultancy at Kaiser Permanente, a not-for-profit Integrated Delivery System providing healthcare for over 8.5 million people each year. The purpose of the Innovation Consultancy is to develop human-centered designs that positively impact the experience of Kaiser patients and the clinicians who care for them.
Zuber has been with Kaiser Permanente since 2001, in roles that have encompassed finance, strategy, facilities design, and her current position in the Innovation Consultancy which she began to build in 2003. In her innovation and design work, Zuber has partnered with IDEO to learn and internalize a human centered design methodology into Kaiser Permanente. Zuber and her team have spent thousands of hours of time shadowing, conducting ethnographic observations in clinics, hospitals and patient’s homes, and field testing ideas in the front lines of healthcare. A few of projects developed using this methodology include a nurse shift change initiative, called Nurse Knowledge Exchange (NKE) which IHI named a best practice in healthcare, and a medication administration solution, called KP MedRite, named a good practice by JCAHO. These solutions have been spread across Kaiser’s 32 hospitals and have even been implemented abroad.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Zuber was a project manager and consultant at Andersen in its health care practice. She led projects that ranged from hospital market assessments in Mexico to reorganizing the model of care delivery for a hospital system in Wisconsin. She also helped develop the foundational services for a future children’s hospital at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla and developed an all-volunteer Spina Bifida clinic to meet the needs of the underserved. Her nursing roots are in home health care.
Zuber has a master’s degree in Health Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma where she was named “Outstanding Senior” and “Big Woman on Campus” and was also active in the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She and her husband, Brian, have two beautiful and fast-paced toddlers, Austin and Ava. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area and loves weekend trips to the wine country and the area’s beautiful hiking and kayaking sites.