Student Works | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University
Infusing Design Thinking into Problem Solving at University Hospitals of Cleveland

Infusing Design Thinking into Problem Solving at University Hospitals of Cleveland

Executive Summary

work on a Design project in conjunction with University Hospitals. The focus of the project was to look at the existing function of the Patient and Family Advisory Councils within the hospital and reimagine a way to more effectively use these individuals within the hospital with the focus being on improving patient experience across the hospital system.

The team set out to identify a core problem and propose a hypothesis based on the research and data gathered at University Hospitals and with the staff. The following report contains an in depth look at the problem and our proposed solution for University Hospitals. This project report contains five main parts: introduction, problem statement, hypothesis, design process, and closing.

The core solution was broken up into three main parts: Problem, Idea and Significance. These are summarized below.


  • University Hospitals see a lot of potential value that could come out of the PFACs, but the PFAC's current structure prohibits its full value from being realized.


  • Strengthen the PFAC structure and application to play a key role in problem solving and implementation across University Hospitals, while serving as the impetus to infuse human centered design throughout the organization.


  • Short Term will result in better thought out solutions and problem solving across the hospital while long term these new interactions coupled with the positive outcomes associated with them will infuse human centered design throughout the organization. In order to realize this vision, this plan will require alignment and ownership from the top of the organization at University Hospitals. The hospital leaders will need to be the champions for this solution to take hold in the hospital and gain the following it needs to get going with the hospital. If this happens, we feel the benefit to the overall organization will greatly improve the patient experience.

Academic Year

Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

Team Members

  • Mark Sawaya
  • Mike Hussey
  • Prafful Patel
  • Zach Wolfe