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"Get to Know Me" 2.0: digitally personalizing the ICU experience for patients, families, and providers (updated 8/1)

A tablet-based display allowing families to share -- and ICU providers to learn -- longitudinally, who the patient is as a person.

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Get This digital product is intended for the full range of ICU providers (doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, chaplains) and for families, to enhance communication about personhood -- physical appearance, life story, social connections, values, and preferences -- of the patient. It will help providers gain a deeper understanding of the individual behind the patient, and also permits families to connect with, and reflect on over time, their loved one's personhood and deeply-held values.


Get to Know Me 2.0:  Overview

User Experience Map

The Impact of Get to Know Me 2.0

Future possibilities


Get to Know Me 2.0:  Overview

Get to Know Me 2.0 (GTKM) adapts a poster developed by Dr. Andy Billings, the palliative care program founder at Mass General Hospital.  The GTKM poster is posted inside of each ICU room, and offers space for a photo, as well as information about an individual's favorite activities, personal background and profession, most satisfying accomplishments, and other information that might humanize the patient to staff.

Image title

In "Get to Know Me (GTKM) 2.0," this simple poster is built it into a Web-based application, which provides important advantages:

    -- provides greater opportunity for photos and detailed stories

    -- permits contributions by multiple family members

    -- allows for information to be provided over time, permitting updates related to family needs and other important communications to the ICU team

    -- is portable, so that the patient's profile can be accessed from any enabled device

User Experience Map

The GTKM patient
Sarah's GTKM intro
Completing GTKM
Using GTKM in the ICU
Connecting through GTKM

Prototype Images from the Website

The following are examples of prototype pages from the family data entry pages, as well as the provider interface, for the GTKM website:

GTKM homepage
Author sign-up page
Author sign-in page

Provider interface -- photos

The Impact of Get to Know Me 2.0

GTKM has the potential to serve important functions for ICU care delivery:

1) In introducing GTKM to the family, the GTKM informational brochure also also gives important practical information about the ICU.  Informational brochures are recognized (by the National Quality Forum) as an indicator of high-quality ICU care, although hospitals have been slow to adopt this quality standard.  Thus, the GTKM introduction process itself can indirectly raise the quality of ICU care.

2)  It permits the ICU team with an efficient and  structured way to collect relevant information about the patient's and family's personal history, which can inform goal-setting and decision making discussions,

3) It permits multiple ICU members to gain insight to the patient's story, which may lead to more human-centered interactions both with the patient as well as with family members,

4) It allows (multiple) family members to provide a patient's "story," over time, in a way that maintains their connection to that story, even when the ICU stay has fundamentally altered it,

5) It has the potential to enhance provider satisfaction and reduce burnout, by maintaining personal relationships with patient and family.

Future possibilities

We regard the GTKM format as an important addition to ICU care in the current health care environment, which too often lacks continuity or coordination across providers and care venues.  As palliative care programs move in the direction of 1) earlier patient identification, and 2) more longitudinal integration into care, GTKM has the potential to be adapted to be initiated earlier in the illness course, after a patient is first identified as having a life-limiting illness.  Within this adaptation, the patient and family could all participate in its construction, potentially making it a much richer story to share with others.   Finally, GTKM could be integrated with the advance care planning process, in order to frame patients' values and treatment preferences within the context of their personal narrative and simultaneously share that framing with the family.

The steps by which the GTKM process is introduced, completed by the family, and used in clinical practice are outlined in a User Experience Map, Powerpoint of a GTKM prototype, and workflow of the GTKM process.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

1) Pilot the GTKM process using a new poster format that incorporates the latest knowledge about what personal and goals-based information patients, family members, and providers feel is most relevant to understand a patient's "story" and informing treatment decision making. 2) Evaluate the pilot qualitatively through cognitive interviews with family members and providers, probing the proposed digital format and inquiring about what features they would hope to incorporate into it.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

1) Helping design the GTKM process, in order to address time efficiency, literacy, privacy, and other concerns in an elegant way. 2) Designing the Web-based interface where families enter GTKM data, including making it user-friendly, private, and amenable to multiple authors and longitudinal input 2) Designing a provider user interface that is maximally effective in conveying needed info and also time-efficient 3) Assuring that all HIPAA privacy concerns and other regulatory issues are covere

Tell us about your work experience:

I work a palliative care physician and have worked in palliative care program development, quality improvement, and health services research. My collaborator, Rebecca Perez, is owner/creative director, Studio Civico

This idea emerged from

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Attachments (5)


This is our current draft of the user experience profile. We have a bunch of questions that we'd appreciate input into, including: 1) what is the right level of privacy protections (user passwords, etc), especially for busy hospital providers, 2) how do we preserve coherence of a profile that may have multiple authors (the primary author and up to 3 secondary authors), and 3) what is the most effective provider graphical interface, in terms of ease of use and ability to convey meaningful info.

Workflow draft 7-16.docx

This is a basic draft of a detailed workflow for GTKM, along with some questions/issues we're still struggling with.

Get to know me poster.pdf

This is the only version of the Mass General GTKM poster I've been able to find. I have inquiries out to the MGH folks to see if there's a newer version out there; any assistance in this would genuinely be appreciated!


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