We’ve heard the phrase “If you’ve seen one stroke, you’ve seen one stroke” many times from the stroke stakeholders we've interviewed and shadowed. Yet, while recognizing the unique nature of each stroke survivor's journey, the Health for America at MedStar Health fellows created the infographic below to highlight some of the common gaps and pain points we identified during our exploration phase. In human-centered design, journey maps like this one give us a chance to develop empathy and holistically consider the needs and challenges stroke survivors might face at various points on their path.
The behind-the-scenes work that went into this graphic was an exciting part of the process. HFA fellow Stephanie, also our talented graphic design expert, and I collaborated and pooled our skills to create our patient journey map. I proposed the idea of representing the stroke continuum as a circle in order to emphasize the importance of secondary prevention and highlight the heightened risk for a second stroke if no changes to diet/lifestyle/medication adherence are made. Stephanie came up with a brilliant tagline for the recovery process—“Brain Takes Time”—to complement the American Stroke Association’s “Time Is Brain” for the acute phase of a stroke incident. This collaborative dynamic was a satisfying one as Stephanie expertly transformed the rough pen and paper sketches of our ideas into the beautiful and informative graphic you see below.