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Care Companion
DECISION AID

experience design + print design +

illustration + animation

Imagine you have just been diagnosed with a health condition that may shorten your life. During this time you will need to make a number of decisions about your treatment and care. However, making these decisions can be difficult without the right information and support. My Care Companion is a decision aid designed to support shared decision making for people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition (one that will shorten their life). It helps people, their healthcare team and those close to them explore realistic and achievable treatment and care options to make decisions that align with their values.

I was brought on by the High Benefit Care at End of Life (HBCEL) team under Queensland Health to co-design a solution to addressing low-benefit care for those with a life-limiting condition in Queensland. This involved an extensive collaborative process with a working group of clinicians and consumers from Health Consumers Queensland. The decision aid was selected from a number of ideas imagined by participants to prototype and develop for further testing and future implementation. I was involved in facilitating workshops and focus groups, designing and refining the prototype and creating a video to communicate the experience of using the Care Companion.

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Co-designed with clinicians, carers and consumers

The Care Companion was deeply

co-designed, emerging from 8 workshops with 17 health professionals, 19 kitchen table discussions with 131 consumers and carers and 3 follow-up focus groups. The process was highly iterative, responding to feedback with rapid prototypes.

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Rapid prototyping

The decision aid was originally intended to be an e-health tool with a wraparound training and education component. However, for the initial proof of concept we decided to focus on the MVP: a paper-based resource that can be used regardless of digital literacy. This was rapidly iterated between consumer engagement for feedback, simplifying and refining the resource to reduce overwhelm and increase quality of conversation.

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Creating conversations

The Care Companion includes four sections, each prompting a different conversation. They can be tackled all at once, or completed at different times with different health professionals, carers and loved ones.

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Personal and flexible

The Care Companion was designed to be a living and breathing support tool that people could take with them as they have conversations with clinicians, carers and loved ones. We experimented with a number of different formats that would allow for pages to be added and removed as their situation changes or new decisions arise.

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THE HBCEL TEAM:

 

Clinical Leads

  Dr Robyn Brogan (Medical)

Erin Lawlor (Allied Health)

Natalie Kruger (Allied Health)

 

Principle Project Officer: Mei-Shan Heng

 

Project Manager: Allison Lovell

 

Project Support Officer: Chloe Prudden

User Experience Designer: Jessica Cheers

With special thanks to:

High Benefit Care at End-of-Life Working Group

Health Consumers Queensland

…and our sponsors Clinical Excellence Queensland &

Healthcare Purchasing and System Performance Division

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Cheers