Sharing What We’ve Learned About Co-Design in Healthcare
Partners: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Project Timeframe: 2021-2022
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Our partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (Cincinnati Children’s) began in 2014 to better understand health disparities from the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Initially, Cincinnati Children’s wanted feedback from patients and families. With DI’s support, Cincinnati Children’s trained patients to conduct research, which deepened their work and produced more lasting, meaningful interventions.
Over time, we helped Cincinnati Children’s expand their work to include issues like housing and education. More importantly, our work helped shift their community engagement priorities from gathering feedback to building community leadership. This model evolved into co-production, an approach where families and community partners work together to design, own, and analyze outcomes and solutions. Through this unique approach to health and wellbeing, each party contributes their own influence, skills, and experience.
Recognizing the success of this model, we co-authored an organization-wide guide with Cincinnati Children’s Wellbeing with Community Team, demonstrating their dedication to working alongside communities. This guide includes an overview of how co-production works in theory and practice, strategies, terminology, case studies, and tools.
We interviewed families and community researchers who participated in past co-production projects to learn what worked, what could have been improved, and what they learned.