Complex entanglements: design-led research for infection prevention and control training tools

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Macdonald, Alastair
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: The Glasgow School of Art
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is an established and growing challenge in developed and developing countries around the world. Effective infection prevention and control (IPC) is an essential aspect of tackling AMR and healthcare associated infections (HAIs). The uptake of appropriate IPC protocols is heavily influenced by the awareness and perception of risk and consequent behaviour of humans interacting with and within physical care and treatment environments. Here, the development of effective communications and teaching tools is essential in ensuring individuals’ perceptions, awareness, understanding and behaviours are in line with scientific recommendations for reducing infections and their transmission. This positioning paper problematizes and highlights challenges facing Design for work in the area of IPC. It outlines a programme of design-led inter-disciplinary research to develop interactive digital educational training tools to address IPC issues using dynamic visualisation techniques, participative co-design, and iterative prototyping approaches while utilising data from scientific disciplines. It is concerned with the challenges presented in modelling the complex entanglements of messy situations and in translating and (re)presenting complex data in ‘accessible’ formats to a variety of stakeholders. It also acknowledges the value of work in other fields such as agent-based modelling, software programming and computational science. The discussion is illustrated by examples and findings from the development of prototype pedagogic interventions for two distinct environments, the first within the hospital ward and the second within the small animal veterinary practice.

Keywords: design-led research, visualisation, participative co-design, iterative prototyping, infection prevention and control, anti-microbial resistance, healthcare ecosystems


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