Aligned OR Communications

Client: Cardinal Health

Team: Sam Chase, Kira Henderson, Bre Jacobs, Alex Stulock

Date:  Fall 2019



“Communication failures in hospitals were associated with 1,744 patient deaths over five years, racking up $1.7 billion in malpractice costs.”


-CRICO Strategies: Hospital Malpractice Study, 2016

Key Findings

  • There is no collective understanding of different roles and responsibilities across the OR team

  • Surgeon preferences can be outdated and not cohesively managed

  • Current information collection is outdated and inefficient

  • Current communication channels do not support the existing priority of fast patient turnaround

  • Staff are not made a priority in the ever-changing, hectic OR environment

2nd Design Sprint


Our team’s focus on the opportunity to align OR communication was developed to attempt to solve these challenges that were identified through interviews and then validated during the Know Pain Know Gain session. 


We designed our next sprint session with the intent of co-creating improved models of communication within the hospital environment with stakeholders who have worked on an OR team. 


The results allowed us to develop our new service model that touched on the following key opportunities:


  • Total accessibility of communications and patient updates for each team member and other staff

  • Remote accessibility of team schedules 

  • Digital access to team preferences and roles 

  • Real-time updates that alert team and staff efficiently and simply

3rd Design Sprint

Our new service model was then tested during our final sprint, which served as a concept validation session. During this session we presented prototypes of a digital service that would connect to team mobile devices, hospital computers, and other hospital screens to inform team members of patient status and allow them to use the application to streamline their communications. During this session, participants gave critical feedback on the interface design, accessibility, and prefered usability, which informed the development of our final concept solution. 

Solution and Value 


Our solution was a digital application that promised to optimize the OR environment by supporting staff as they maneuver the complexity of day-to-day hospital communication. The application would offer a new communication system that had the capacity to touch every part of the OR simultaneously, like a web. Before, if something critical happened in one area of the hospital, the chain of communication was often slow and drew necessary team members out of their significant roles to deliver information across the hospital floor. Our solution gave teams imedicate access to all critical information without having to leave their established station. 


For Cardinal, this solution allows them to become predictive instead of reactionary. They would have everyday access to the people they service and would have the ability to iterate on their application continuously through the collection of real-time data from necessary stakeholders accessing this service on a daily basis. It would allow Cardinal to set the stage for immediate product orders and shrink the chain of command that is required for product ordering significantly. Finally, it shows that Cardinal values hospital staff and is committed to creating an ideal work environment that ultimately leads to optimal and true patient care. 

PULSE can help Cardinal Health become a leader in digital OR communication and team relationships