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Moving Forward the Pediatric Practice of the Future: What We’re Learning from Families

The Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family and Pediatrics Primary Care are leading efforts to build the Pediatric Practice of the Future through fundamental systems change—creating and scaling novel health delivery approaches, and working with families, interdisciplinary colleagues, communities and other family-serving sectors.

One of the core tenets of the Center’s work is the belief that fundamental care redesign will only be successful if families co-create solutions. As such, the Center is undergoing a Human Centered Design process in order to deeply understand what Boston Medical Center pediatric families expect and hope for from their health care. Human Centered Design is a generative, people-centered set of methods creating an approach to problem-solving that: honors the people this practice seeks to serve; engages families, stakeholder and partners actively in the design process; and presumes discovering together new models, services, experiences and tools falling outside the bounds of today’s standard practice.

In December, the Center announced a new partnership with Agncy—a local firm specializing Human Centered Design—which is conducting deep ethnographic work with families from Boston Medical Center pediatrics. Agncy uses design methods to reduce structural inequalities and generate actionable solutions to complex systems issues. Over the last two months, the Center and Agncy have begun the work of recruiting and interviewing families from BMC pediatrics Primary Care. Agncy will continue to conduct interviews with families in their homes to learn about their values, resources, health, wellness and health care experience. Some emerging themes from early interviews include:

  1. parents are attracted to BMC because of the possibility of comprehensive care and multiple specialties under one roof;
  2. many parents view BMC as a holistic resource offer support beyond traditional health care; and
  3. parents articulate that their child’s wellbeing and their own are interconnected.

Themes emerging from these interviews will be analyzed in partnership with BMC leadership, Primary Care team members, the Center team and the Family Advisory Board to identify areas of opportunity that can shape the Practice of the Future model launching this upcoming fall.