Otago Polytechnic
Mercy Hospital image

Explaining medical procedures

Our students have made an animated video for Mercy Hospital to provide information to patients in a user-friendly way.

Mercy Hospital sought to improve the user experience for colonoscopy patients, who used to be handed a booklet with information about the procedure they were about to undergo. The goal was to give patients a better understanding of colonoscopy in a reassuring and friendly way. Mercy Hospital contacted Otago Polytechnic seeking development of an animated video which patients could view on an iPad.

Communication Design students Fanny Blanchet, Gina Lucks, Georgia Ryan and Melanie Wilson took on this project under supervision from their Lecturer Jon Wilson. They met with Merrilee Williams, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mercy Hospital, who provided information about the colonoscopy procedure and the patient journey. The students distilled this information into key elements, and researched styles and design principles that would be likely to communicate the essential information effectively. They prepared a script and storyboard, completed all the animation frame by frame, and arranged the voice recording and background music.

The students were pleased with the final product and are proud of themselves for achieving what they set out to do. Their 3.26 minute video is being user-tested with patients and will have a couple more features added before it is finalised for use. Merrilee Williams says:

"I love the creativity they put into the video to make an uncomfortable topic brighter and reassuring. The voice of the video is Emma, our lovely reception lady, she often speaks to the patient on the phone prior to admission, she sounds familiar and comforting which was really important to me. The colors and animations the girls used are so clever, they also picked up patterns from elements within the day stay facility, Manaaki, again adding to the feeling of familiarity with the environment they are having their colonoscopy in. So clever!"
Update November 2020: The finished video was one of the 13 projects entered into Mercy’s 2020 Quality Awards. Judges commended the project for its patient collaboration and for its national reach through being published as a resource by Bowel Cancer New Zealand.

November 2018