Reimagining the home care experience for older adults in Ontario
How to reimagine the home care experience for older adults—a vital service facing growing demand, funding constraints, and increasingly complex client needs
An end-to-end service strategy supported by three unique concepts designed to adapt to the changing landscape and leverage existing organizational capabilities
Aligned perspectives and outlined immediate steps for action, providing a clear roadmap for clients and staff to position SE Health as a leader of home care innovation
Engaging with ambiguity
Ambiguity is exciting in a project—it tends to be accompanied by an open space, full of potential for innovation. However, it also comes with challenges. When we started our project with SE Health, the prompt was broad: reimagine the home care experience for older adults in Ontario. We knew from kick-off that, more than anything, staff wanted a future-oriented but realistic solution that would be actionable within 6 months. From there, it was up to our team to navigate the confounding realm of home care and find a compelling direction to build solutions. Applying Bridgeable’s expertise, we followed a service design process through understanding the problem, developing creative solutions, testing those ideas in the field, and delivering a final product that was clearly laid out and robust. We invited end users, in-field staff, and corporate employees to participate at every step.
Learning firsthand from the front line and back office
In order to better understand the reality of home care, we spent days in the field observing staff in action and conducting in-depth interviews with home care clients and caregivers. From PSWs on the front line to Service Coordinators in the regional office, our team learned about the formal and informal processes that make home care happen. We discovered two major opportunity areas: creating seamless between-care transitions and redesigning the scheduling process to better reflect the realities on the front line. In a co-creation workshop, we brought PSWs, regional office staff, and corporate employees together, collaborating with the project team to validate our opportunity areas and develop early concepts for service improvement.
When we started this project, I didn’t think I would have a lot to offer. But I’ve felt listened to, you’ve taken my ideas and turned them into real, actionable solutions.
Project Team PSW
Finding alignment before, during, and after care
Having heard about and observed the challenges facing both staff and clients, our team realized that any solution would need to start and end outside the home. We worked with staff across the organization to develop and refine visualizations of the client experience and of various internal processes. These maps and conversations helped us get a better understanding of which activities could be leveraged for systemic improvements. From this work, we learned that realities on the front line were out of sync with processes in the back office. This led us to refine our focus, enabling us to take new aim at improving the client experience by working to align the perspectives of all home care staff at SE Health.
Hours in the field:
Rhythm: An end-to-end, modular solution for SE Health
The outcome of our work with SE Health was Rhythm, an enhanced service experience. Understanding funding and time constraints, our team designed this strategy as a modular solution made up of three separate concepts, building on existing projects and assets at SE Health. We laid out an implementation plan that allows the organization to take action on the areas immediately accessible to them and piece together the larger strategy over time. Each concept includes prototypes from mobile interfaces to physical tools and HR support documents. Most importantly, the strategy introduces design interventions across the entire client experience. With a novel approach to scheduling, improved information sharing, and a new role dedicated to client onboarding, Rhythm ensures that SE Health can confidently deliver high-quality, consistent care in the face of a changing landscape.
The Key to Success
This project relied on ongoing input from stakeholders across SE Health, involving them at every step of the process. From in-field interviews and PSW shadowing to workshops hosted at Bridgeable and validation sessions with clients, we took a mixed-method approach to collaborative design. The perspectives of the staff and clients who participated ensured that our outcomes were truly grounded, actionable, and impactful.