Powell & Associates
Solving complex health care challenges through human-centered design.

Solving Complex Health Care Challenges

System Level Quality Improvement 


Solving Health Care Challenges with Human-Centered Design

Challenges are abundant and complex. Health care across the US is burdened with multiple challenges that affect providers, communities, and the individuals and families they care for.

  • Individuals and families find it difficult to access and coordinate health care.
  • Clinicians struggle managing their increasingly complex patient populations.
  • Transitions create roadblocks in information flow, treatment plans, and medications as patients navigate across clinical and social service providers.
  • Evolving payment models and reporting requirements impede clinic flow.
  • New technologies and electronic medical records necessitate changes in workflows and care team responsibilities.  

Having the same conversations over and over does not create change. How can we change the conversation by uncovering the entire story to solve a problem? 

    We need human-centered design to tackle these challenges. The factors that affect an individual's health are complex. Each one of us lives within an ecosystem of relationships, environments, and resources that influence how we live, work, behave, and feel. Patients, caregivers, providers, and communities need integrated interaction in which human-centered goals are mutually reinforcing and systems operate as an interdependent set of processes to support these goals. Click here to learn more about Powell & Associates' health care quality improvement system-thinking methodology.

    Jennifer Powell
    (828) 424-7447




    Powell & Associates work with clients to develop optimal conditions for authentic engagement to solve a complex design challenge. Our team includes highly experienced design and quality improvement strategists and patient engagement experts who can mobilize and inspire stakeholders and provide important insights into the patient experience.  


    We provide guidance and facilitation across all phases of implementation of human-centered design in parallel with quality improvement and system transformation methods and principles. 

    Share New Knowledge

    We are committed to sharing what we’ve learned across the health care and social services domains, partnering with clients and communities in creating publications, presentations, briefs, and insights from the field.   


    Using Human Centered Design Methods in Quality Improvement Initiatives

    human-centered design 

    Human-centered design (HCD) puts specific human needs and behaviors at the center to understand the experience, hear the untold stories, and generate ideas and inspirations. It distills a complex health care problem into tangible, solvable design challenges.   

    Design Framework

    Powell & Associates has developed a design framework that provides an overview of how human-centered engagement unfolds. This unique process focuses on understanding the WHO and how it drives WHY changes are being made. We understand that empathy and detailed knowledge of the user will design the most effective patient and business solutions.

    starting a human-centered design initiative

    How does a leader get started in considering a human-centered design initiative? What are the benefits of HCD? Who has used these methods? Our leadership primer will help you get started.  

    Powell & Associates has a unique toolbox set, including the requisite quality improvement tools. They also apply innovation, design, and community engagement approaches—things that you want if you are looking for practice and system transformation.
    — Dennis Kuo, MD, MHS, Division Chief, Univ of Buffalo/Alinia Health System