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Jennifer Smerdel

Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery | Innovation & Design
Service Desginer
Rochester, Minnesota Area
Jennifer is a service designer at the Mayo Clinic Robert D.
and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery | Innovation and Design, where she has proudly helped to tackle challenges relating to the patient and caregiver experience in the number one healthcare institution in the country. Jennifer combines analytical thinking and creativity to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, and allied health support staff overcome roadblocks and ease pain points within the ever-growing field of healthcare, in order to result in a better and more empathetic experience for patients and their families.

Q: What area of the health, design, and innovation space are you most passionate about?
A: I love to create moments of relief, joy, or security for every patient and visitor that walks through Mayo Clinic's doors. The key to a good patient experience at Mayo Clinic, includes a seamless experience where the patient and family feel supported through a potentially rough time in their lives.

Q: What method, technology, tool, trend, or advancement gets you fired up the most?
A: Co-designing with patients, families, providers

Q: Why do you do the work you do? What do you enjoy most? What impact are you hoping to achieve?
A: Being at Mayo Clinic, you get to affect change from inside the organization. Working alongside some of the most brilliant clinicians, and non-clinical staff, makes you truly feel like you are apart of something big for those that come here for care.

Q: Ideally, what do you think the future of health will hold? How will design help us to get us there?
A: The future of health care looks entirely different than anything we know now in the United States. Care team structures and payment models will drastically shift in the near-future, and design will be there to always advocate for what works best for the patient.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles you face? How might your organization or the industry help to solve them?
A: The biggest obstacle I face in my work, is the slow-moving nature of change within healthcare. Mayo Clinic helps to leverage key innovation opportunities through the Kern Center | Innovation and Design, to bring to surface those ideas that can have the most impact on the patient, visitor, and employee experience.

Q: What would you tell your younger self?
A: Design and health care are two very complex fields and bringing them together is not always easy. But when you do get the hang of it, beautiful transformation can be made in the lives of people who really need it. Always, ALWAYS, advocate for the patient, even if those around you disagree.


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