Why Hospitals Need Service Design

Challenges and Methods for Successful Implementation of Change in Hospitals
  • Kristine Rise FryEmail author


Healthcare is in need of change because of an ongoing growing and ageing population. Meanwhile, increasing attention has been paid to the potential value of service design tools within healthcare. Service design is the activity of planning and implementing change to improve the quality of a service. To manage change, it is important to identify challenges for change in the service that needs improving. A large number of change initiatives fail due to unfocused and insecure management, and there is a need for a new way of implementing change. Service design is a user-centric approach that includes service providers, end-users and stakeholders in the design process. This chapter gives an overview of pressures for change and identifies key barriers hospitals face when managing change. An overview of relevant methods and strategies from service design is given before they are exemplified through a case study of a service design project at an Emergency Department. The chapter then discusses how service design methods can be used in overcoming challenges in hospitals and effectively implement change. The chapter concludes that co-creation and multidisciplinary teams are essential in the context of hospital change management. Further, the chapter concludes that hospitals would benefit from using a user-centred, holistic approach that considers patient experience in their delivery of care.



The author gratefully thanks NTNU, Institute of Design, for guidance and the opportunity to write this study. The author also thanks Linn Harbo Dahle for co-facilitating the case study at the Emergency Department and Marikken Høiseth for guidance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OsloNorway

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