March 25, 2003

Harvard Business School - The Mayo Clinic Experience
HBS has a neat story on the Mayo Clinic called "Why Docs Don’t Wear White Coats Or Polo Shirts at the Mayo Clinic." It clearly outlines a thoughtful approach to the customer experience in a medical setting. It provides a glimpse into the Mayo brand and their focus on patients' well-being, both physical and emotional.

"The potential of design to promote healing through stress reduction has been documented in dozens of studies. For these reasons, more medical institutions are making an effort to create open, welcoming spaces with soft, natural light. Mayo Clinic goes further with its design philosophy, which is perhaps as well honed and articulated as that of any major service provider in America, and pays strict attention to how every detail affects the patient’s experience."

"A well-designed physical environment has a positive impact on employees as well, reducing physical and emotional stress—which is of value not only to employees but also to patients because visible employee stress sends negative signals. In our interviews, patients commented on the lack of apparent stress; one said, “It did not seem like a doctor’s office when we went to Mayo. There was no tension.”

Here's a photo of a waiting room at the Mayo Clinic from the American Institute of Architects - Academy of Architecture for Health.

A quick check of the Mayo site highlights more of their customer-focus in their unique patient amenities like an education center, 'quiet rooms', a communications center, pagers, and a movie auditorium.

There you have it: more proof that good design can positively impact both employees and customers.

A Cancer Patient's Perspectives on Facilities Design - facility design considerations for clinics serving cancer patients (e.g. lighting, privacy, door design)
- Mayo Clinic.Org - about the clinic
- Mayo - a health information site, elegantly designed
Move it baby!
I think this violates some heuristic about users feeling in control, but it's kinda fun...