Back to The New School


Preview Fall Continuing Education courses before open enrollment in late July. Browse now

We continue to monitor and respond to the public health situation regarding COVID-19. Learn more

Industry Snapshot: Human-Centered Healthcare

October 1, 2018 at 10:00AM
Industry Snapshot: Human-Centered Healthcare

The healthcare industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. With this growth, newly developed technologies (analytic and data software, AI, blockchain, etc.) emerge in an effort to innovate key systems and processes. Some of the greatest challenges the industry faces, however, are those impacting day-to-day operations and patient needs. These challenges range across the board, including hospital stays, patient visitation, appointment scheduling, and transportation. However, there are expansive opportunities for improvement. Solutions using human-centered, design-inspired techniques provide innovative new avenues to address these challenges. 


A “human-centered” approach begins with the identification of issues faced on a personal level and explores creative solutions that will best suit an individual’s needs. Human-centered methods in healthcare emerge as a way to combine service design, user experience, and design thinking in response to these new challenges related  to patient experience. The goal is to create an entirely new approach to the healthcare experience: visioning new environments and processes that encourage health and healing; reinventing systems and methodologies to make them more patient-focused; and, ultimately, making strides to better serve patient needs. 


Learning the skills necessary to master this type of human-centered approach in healthcare can spur creative problem solving for everything from the service experience of cancer care to appointment follow-up.  

Patricia Beirne, Program Coordinator of the online Human-Centered Healthcare Certificate at Open Campus, and Creative Lead for the Design & Innovation group of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, says, “Design thinking facilitates a human-centered approach to how we understand the patient and family experience and allows us to shape experiences that alleviate anxiety and restore dignity in as many interactions as possible. Dignity is important to patients. And design is a good way to understand and deliver that otherwise intangible quality of care.”

Careers using these skills are appropriate for anyone interested in the intersection of design and healthcare, from Pharmacy Management, Hospital Administration, and Nursing, to UX designers and entrepreneurs. Take a closer look at the range of occupations and areas from across the country looking to hire individuals with this knowledge.


    • Technical Architect
    • Design Consultant 
    • Product Manager 
    • User Experience Designer
    • Business Development Leader
    • Independent Researcher
      (Source: EMSI

  • Top U.S. Locations In Need of Healthcare Professionals

    • Providence, RI
    • Austin, NY
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Freedom, IN
    • New York, NY
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Denver, CO
    • Fort Worth, TX
      (Source: EMSI)


With the right tools under your belt, prepare to transform the healthcare experience through the power of design thinking methodologies, and improve lives and user-centered design. In our online certificate in Human-Centered Healthcare, students learn to develop solutions based around users’ needs and outcomes. Practitioners working in a healthcare setting who want systems-focused, design-driven tools for improving service delivery and developing entrepreneurial opportunities, and creatives seeking new skills in user-based research, design, and innovation will be able to complete this certificate and immediately put insights into action,

The Human-Centered Healthcare Certificate (Online) consists of 3 courses. Students are advised to complete the program in the following sequence:

  • Design Thinking for Human Centered Healthcare
  • Designing Care Experiences and Interactions
  • Designing Care Services and Systems


Learn more about human-centered healthcare to find your fit in this growing field. 

  • Discover why creatives are rethinking healthcare with Patty Beirne, design researcher, strategist, and assistant professor at The New School.

  • UX Designer Victor Kerne shares his experience of what it’s like to join a design team in healthcare.

  • Explore how innovation is key in human-centered design. 

Written by Casey O'Connell for Open Campus.

More than a course.
A new kind of network.
Back to top