Tracheostomy patients in New Zealand lack fundamental information that is both informative and understandable during transitional stages of their procedure. Although there are nurses and healthcare specialists available at the hospital, they aren’t always accessible. During these times, patients and affected family members must refer to online resources and documents. These resources may often be dense, confusing and disjointed due their technical nature, which usually leaves patients feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
Tracheostomy patients are particularly susceptible to emotional distress throughout their experience due to the loss of their primary method of communication i.e. their voice. While nurses provide information, empathy and support, patients still need their own time to reflect and internalise the situation.
Documentation should detail their procedures and serve to clarify, inform and establish their understanding of the procedure. Evaluating and identifying the current setup, will help create design solutions, which will be based on action research lead by user-centred design as a framework for creating a patient-centric support system.