Stuff Patients Want


Stuff Patients Want is a participatory design initiative where patients devise solutions to problems they commonly encounter. Patients are experts in how they experience an illness, a set of life circumstances, the care they receive or the health system with which they interact. Stuff Patients Want is designed to tap into this expertise to come up with practical and inspired solutions. It follows in the Scandinavian participatory design tradition, driven by the idea that the people destined to use a product or service should play a critical role in designing it, and characterized by active collaboration between users and designers throughout the participatory process.

From Patients Who Know: A Hospital Handbook

Between December 2015 and July 2016, a remarkable group of seniors in an apartment building in Kingston, Ontario – affectionately known as Oasis – came together to share common hospital experiences, frustrations and workarounds. And with the help of OpenLab, their collective wisdom was packaged into a handbook.

Why a handbook? 

Most people just aren’t that experienced when it comes to knowing how to get the most out of their hospital visit. Besides, it’s not the kind of experience any of us wants to gain ourselves. This handbook was generated from the practical know-how of lots of patients – 25 seniors who collectively have over 2,000 years of life experience among them. It packages all of their knowledge and wisdom into a kind of trusty companion everyone should have by their side.

This handbook is completely interactive. You can check things off, write stuff down, tear stuff out. There has never been a book quite like this.

Ways you can participate

Use it. Pass it on. Add to it.

That’s right. Because Stuff Patients Want is a participatory design initiative, we invite patients and patient groups to contribute content for the next edition of the book. You can contribute a chapter, a page, a tool or an idea. That way, the next edition will be even better.

We’re also accepting donations to help pay for the next print run so that we can give the book away to lots of patients. All contributors will be acknowledged in the book.

Please email us if you would like to contribute content or money, or to just let us know what you think of the book (so far).

Thanks for your interest in the project. View and download a free copy of the handbook on the left.

OpenLab project members: Tai Huynh (project lead), Lora Appel (project lead evaluation) Jen RecknagelShoshana-Hahn GoldbergRasha Kubba, Leedan Cohen, Melissa Frew

Collaborator: Oasis

Supported by: The Donald J. Matthews Fund

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