Involving the user in the process of co-creation empowers and positions them as the expert. After all, this is their experience. Using a co-creative process expands the range of possibility and offers engaging and interactive experiences for patients, families, and care teams.

Working with the user throughout the process of developing a new technology or service can prove to be a valuable experience. Involvement at multiple stages of development adds buy-in and a desire to see the work through to completion. Position users as advisors to share their point of view in a place where it's valued.

Using co-creation techniques conveys a sense of value to the patient or provider as their opinion helps to shape the process. Much insight can be gained through collaborating to identify and solve problems. Initiate meaningful relationships with your community through this process.

We recommend conducting the appropriate user research prior to engaging in this exercise. Be cognizant of your organization’s policies and procedures when conducting research.


  1. Identify the user and the experience you are investigating. 
  2. Determine your objectives for inquiry. What do you know vs. what do you need to know?
  3. Select an activity to engage in with the user—be it a canvas building exercise, an interview, or some other participative activity.
  4. Invite the user to participate in your experience.
  5. Keep it human and conversational. If possible, engage with them in an environment outside of the clinical setting. 
  6. Discuss the current state of healthcare and visualize its future together.
  7. Involve them beyond this encounter. Identify where the user can be involved during continued development. This is a valuable opportunity to formalize relationships and build trust with the user.
  8. An artifact can emerge from this experience. Use it to gain insight, but also to document your journey and the evolving relationship with that user. 

Involving the patient or provider in the process can shed light on an entirely different approach or solution. It is important to manage expectations carefully throughout the process as direct insight needs to be considered in a broader context and analyzed beyond face value. Co-creation shows that you care about what patients and providers think, do, and feel. This is a critical approach to enhancing the quality of healthcare interactions.