Free Paper Sample on Design Thinking

Published: 2023-11-24
Free Paper Sample on Design Thinking
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Diabetes Nursing care Customer service
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1615 words
14 min read


Design thinking has been used in various business domains to increase customer experiences with business products. In this problem-based model, the innovators are engaged in a thought-out people-based system of analyzing an ongoing situation. In this process, the innovators derive solutions by contacting the context of the customers and creating solutions that are sensitive to the living conditions of the clients. In nursing, design thinking continues to gain widespread adoption due to the increasing focus on people-based nursing practices. Various researchers have determined the growing importance of combining the principles in design thinking with shared governance and collaboration in the healthcare sector (Altman et al., 2018).

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Origins of Design Thinking

During a majority of the 20th century, the education system introduced industry-style systems of churning out professions from a one-size-fits-all setting (Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013). As such, these professionals were trained in societies and workplaces that were driven by dominant logic and lack of creativity. The employees themselves were consistently drilled to follow set out bureaucratic protocols and rules strictly. This educational system was based on the army training model from the early 1900s and was later used to train individuals on using the predetermined industry systems. While the traditional education and training systems trained individuals to be efficient and productive in the workplace, they failed to consider the motivation and constructive engagement of the professionals. As such, behavioral psychologists and organizational theorists began to research closely into ways of encouraging better employee engagement with their organization (Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013).

In the second part of the 20th century, motivational and human-centered theories had begun to dominate organizational research. As such, these researchers and practitioners started to promote people-centered management and leadership and change approaches. In later years of the 20th Century, Tim Brown introduced the design thinking process. After failing several times with startups and projects, Brown set out to understand the probable reasons why his seemingly brilliant ideas continued to fall despite applying evidence-based approaches. In his search – alongside brothers, Tom and David Kelley – began to realize that most of their customers behaved erratically to their innovations. As such, they began to propose an approach innovation that would start from the customers' needs. They started their practice-focused research into the human-centered designing and founded IDEO – an international design company (Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013).

Since the discovery of the design thinking concept, the concept has penetrated various business and non-profit organizations' research and practice and become a buzzword in global innovation and business research and practice. The people-centered design approach, collaborative environments, and lateral communication demands of design thinking aligned perfectly with the organizational leadership paradigms of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Design thinking has continued to assist organizations in creating context-sensitive solutions to various problems in diverse cultural contexts (Altman et al., 2018).

Design Thinking in Nursing and Chronic Care

With the continuing adoption of design thinking in various business environments, it was only a matter of time until the innovative methodology would penetrate healthcare (Altman et al., 2018). With the coming of collaborative nursing environments and shared governance, the nursing world had taken a crucial step into the designing world. Shared governance required that nurses are actively involved in creating healthcare solutions in areas that they were qualified as caregivers. Furthermore, the nurses were encouraged by the research in shared governance to act as co-leaders and co-researchers in their practice. Through the years, nurses began to be involved in active research and educative processes. More and more nurses started to enroll for higher nursing education and research institutions as well as in leadership training courses. This need for change-making and co-governing nurses thus prompted the need for nursing activities that would leverage the leadership and innovative competencies of the nurses. Coincidentally, design thinking was continuing to form a central component of business and organizational innovation in other domains (Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013).

The intersection between shared governance and design thinking assisted greatly in the acceptance of the people-focused systems in nursing. Furthermore, patient engagement research continued to indicate a deep concern about doctor-dominated patient-healthcare interactions. From such research, doctors always dominated their interactions with the patients, and the outcomes of the patient visits to the health centers were neither understood nor shared by the patients. Lastly, the nurses in practice were often sidelined in the decision-making systems for patient care. This top-down decision processes in healthcare mirrored the trends in the other sectors of economic and social environments. Just like managers and owners in the business world, doctors and experts in the healthcare sector dominated the information flow processes and imposed their will on clients. Such rigid models have been determined to result in erratic and unsatisfying patient behavior (University of Texas Permian Basin, 2018).

In the chronic care domains within healthcare, the patients' behavior patterns are crucial in the long-term management of their conditions (University of Texas Permian Basin, 2018). As such, the patients must be encouraged and sufficiently empowered in chronic disease management systems. Design thinking is thereby the ideal project approach that promises to carefully understand and frame the patient's problems in forms that can be solved through iteration and brainstorming. In nursing, the design thinking concept promises to solve the complicated behavioral dynamics for individual clients while also empowering the nurses to share in the governance systems of their practice.

Hypertension and Diabetes Care Practices

Diabetes and hypertension often coexist in patients, thus increasing their susceptibility to cardiovascular and renal diseases. These conditions have been determined to be chronic and cannot be cured entirely. However, patients with illnesses may be guided by qualified health professionals to monitor and control the conditions. According to the chronic care model, diabetic patients can manage their disease through constant monitoring of their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. These patients must ensure their sugar levels are maintained continuously below or around the 7.8 mmol/L levels (Fang et al., 2020).

Self-care models for pre-diabetic and diabetic conditions involve a continued focus on healthy living habits. The patient must seek medical diagnosis and testing when they suspect they might develop diabetic symptoms. Once positively diagnosed, the patient must then begin the management and care process alongside the caregivers allocated by the healthcare institution. Patients typically find it challenging to change their lifestyle behavior and maintain good health while living with diabetes. As such, the nurses and caregivers must educate them sufficiently on the requirements for chronic care. The patients must be adequately informed on the importance of healthy eating, exercise, stress avoidance, medication, and monitoring of blood pressure and sugar levels (Fang et al., 2020).

However, these nurses sometimes feel unprepared and ill-motivated to take on chronic care training. Most healthcare institutions often treat nurses as mere bed-side handlers of patients. The nurses are, thus, never trained thoroughly on the professional leadership and administration of chronic care systems. They are furthermore not engaged as co-researchers and co-creators of the care packages and educational environments for the patients. As such, nurses often become unmotivated and disengaged with their practice (Fang et al., 2020).

To solve this lack of motivation among nurses, design thinking proposes a system that entirely and proactively involves the nurses in the entire decision systems for diabetic care. They are, as such, engaged fully in teams that are involved in empathizing and brainstorming solutions to unpredictable patient behavior during diabetes and hypertension therapy. The innovation teams comprise of multidisciplinary participants alongside the target patients. The design team thereby devices a patient-based care program that is a result of close collaboration, shared leadership, free idea sharing, communication, and empathy. In change-focused CCM systems, thereby, the teams employ culture-sensitive systems that shall encourage value sharing and motivation during the project implementation.

Shared Governance and Collaboration

Throughout this project proposal, the author has continued to reiterate the central position that shared governance and collaboration play in nursing practice. While traditional care models focused on the expertise of the doctor, the current human-centered models advocate for increased nurse involvement in their practice. Motivation theories continue to propose value sharing and bottom-up organizational systems to replace rigid top-down approaches (Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013). For this study, the author suggests that the design thinking principle of collaborative brainstorming should be perfected in the care system creation model. During the brainstorming sessions, the participants should be allowed to express their (sometimes wild) ideas freely and without any form of intimidation from top management and technocrats in medicine.

In shared governance practice, the bureaucratic distribution ladder is flattened, and power is held by the function-level stakeholders, including the nurses and researchers. These nurses are allowed to interact freely with the other experts in healthcare and co-create solutions to problems extracted from nursing practice. In the proposed project, the workshop shall approach stakeholder collaboration through the safe leadership and employee-based interaction processes. By safe leadership, the author refers to a change-focused leadership that respects the input of every individual within the teams. Leadership in such design teams are based on inspiration rather than rank. Individuals who lead various phases of the design process are functionally inspired to actualize the stage. The agreed ideas in these design workshops are not only sensitive to the client's cultural and cognitive proclivities but are also scalable to general organizational settings and the contextualized region of healthcare practice.


In this background analysis section, the author has briefly described the origination of the project concept. Design thinking principles directly embody the spirit of shared governance as it emphasizes the importance of lateral leadership and co-creation of solutions. In this background analysis, the author shall aim to uncover the exciting intersection between shared governance, design thinking, and collaboration in hypertension and diabetes care.

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