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Developing Strategies to Reduce Unnecessary Services in Primary Care: Protocol for User-Centered Design Charrettes.

Klamerus ML, Damschroder LJ, Sparks JB, Skurla SE, Kerr EA, Hofer TP, Caverly TJ. Developing Strategies to Reduce Unnecessary Services in Primary Care: Protocol for User-Centered Design Charrettes. JMIR research protocols. 2019 Nov 26; 8(11):e15618.

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BACKGROUND: Overtreatment and overtesting expose patients to unnecessary, wasteful, and potentially harmful care. Reducing overtreatment or overtesting that has become ingrained in current clinical practices and is being delivered on a routine basis will require solutions that incorporate a deep understanding of multiple perspectives, particularly those on the front lines of clinical care: patients and their clinicians. Design approaches are a promising and innovative way to incorporate stakeholder needs, desires, and challenges to develop solutions to complex problems. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed (1) to engage patients in a design process to develop high-level deintensification strategies for primary care (ie, strategies for scaling back or stopping routine medical services that more recent evidence reveals are not beneficial) and (2) to engage both patients and primary care providers in further co-design to develop and refine the broad deintensification strategies identified in phase 1. METHODS: We engaged stakeholders in design charrettes-intensive workshops in which key stakeholders are brought together to develop creative solutions to a specific problem-focused on deintensification of routine overuse in primary care. We conducted the study in 2 phases: a 6.5-hour design charrette with 2 different groups of patients (phase 1) and a subsequent 4-hour charrette with clinicians and a subgroup of phase 1 patients (phase 2). Both phases included surveys and educational presentations related to deintensification. Phase 1 involved several design activities (mind mapping, business origami, and empathy mapping) to help patients gain a deeper understanding of the individuals involved in deintensification. Following that, we asked participants to review hypothetical scenarios where patients, clinicians, or the broader health system context posed a barrier to deintensification and then to brainstorm solutions. The deintensification themes identified in phase 1 were used to guide phase 2. This second phase primarily involved 1 design activity (WhoDo). In this activity, patients and clinicians worked together to develop concrete actions that specific stakeholders could take to support deintensification efforts. This activity included identifying barriers to the actions and approaches to overcoming those barriers. RESULTS: A total of 35 patients participated in phase 1, and 9 patients and 7 clinicians participated in phase 2. The analysis of the deintensification strategies and survey data is currently underway. The results are expected to be submitted for publication in early 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Health care interventions are frequently developed without input from the people who are most affected. The exclusion of these stakeholders in the design process often influences and limits the impact of the intervention. This study employed design charrettes, guided by a flexible user-centered design model, to bring clinicians and patients with differing backgrounds and with different expectations together to cocreate real-world solutions to the complex issue of deintensifying medical services. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR1-10.2196/15618.

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