23 Apr 2014 The Patient Voice and Graphic Recording
I often say I’m a visual translator — like panning for gold, I take what’s being said, how it’s being said, and pull out the shining nuggets of truth.
This is especially powerful when you have people from different backgrounds and life experiences in a meeting.
I recently graphic recorded a full day session where patients sat down to discuss what meaningful health care delivery looks like in order to guide system changes. There were also health care providers in the room: physicians, managers, social workers, researchers… a little intimidating for any patient I’m sure.
Part of the session included presentations by health care providers, and right away I noticed whenever large academic words were tossed around — strategic targets, demographic analysis, and not to mention meaningless acronyms — a wall went up between the patients and the providers. The language disconnect was palpable.
As a graphic recorder, I have a sixth sense for noticing the feeling in a room of people. When communication barriers go up, it’s my job to knock them down.
So as I graphic recorded the discussion…
- strategic targets became goals,
- demographic analysis became knowing the people,
- and acronyms were written out in full with imagery to help explain what the terms meant.
The patients really connected with the graphic recordings — and so did the health care providers. Cutting away the jargon and choosing the right imagery & metaphors to visualize a discussion is beneficial to everyone in the room! Especially when you’re building relationships and forging new ground.