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Pictorial Care Plan Project winners announced

Friday, Dec 4, 2015

Eldercare has selected a winning set of UniSA student pictogram designs which will be used to enhance the internal communication of resident care information to front line staff across the organisation from next year.

Clinical Information Systems Manager Catherine Le Cornu announced Cenise Kidd, Jessica George, Skye Klitcher, Emmerlee Heyes and Timothy Casiero as the successful design team at last week’s UniSA's Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) 2015 Graduate Exhibition.

“Selecting a winning group was very difficult indeed because each of the finalist groups presented interesting and innovative designs,” said Ms Le Cornu. 

“In the end, it came down to the simplicity and clarity of the designs which portrayed a clear message.

“The winning designs are very intuitive so staff will require very little ‘teaching’ of the images when they are implemented across Eldercare’s residential aged care facilities next year.”

Eldercare approached UniSA's research and professional design practice studio matchstudio midway through 2015 about working together on the unique pictogram project which Ms Le Cornu said would ‘make a significant positive change to the way in which residents' needs are conveyed’.

“The opportunity to collaborate with matchstudio came about when a recent upgrade to the computer-based software program we use to store resident information allowed for care needs to be communicated using pictures instead of words,” said Ms Le Cornu.

Guided by UniSA Communication Design lecturer Dr Myra Thiessen and a team of tutors, final year students worked in groups to design sets of pictogram images that portrayed various residential aged care needs and equipment including mobility and care aids.

Dr Thiessen said the groups had ‘worked very hard’ throughout the semester and were excited at the prospect of having their designs potentially used and implemented by Eldercare.

“With this sort of visual language system, considering how each pictogram works within the system is always a challenge,” said Dr Thiessen.

“Each pictogram needs to work on its own as well as within the group as a whole.”

The best student designs were shortlisted in November and four groups presented their work to a panel consisting of Eldercare and UniSA representatives.

Student Emmerlee Heyes said it was ‘surreal’ to be named as a member of the winning student design team.

“It is wonderful to know that our work will be used to speed up the reading and comprehension of the care plans, in turn, allowing the carers to spend more time with their clients,” said Ms Heyes.

“I’m still not sure it has actually sunk in just yet – it might feel more real when we see the first care plan with our icons.”

Fellow group member Timothy Casiero said he had learnt a lot about aged care by participating in the Pictorial Care Plan Project.

“Aged care is much more in depth than I thought - there is so much careful planning and consideration that goes into making sure patients are cared for properly,” said Mr Casiero.

“This is why it was so important to make sure our icons functioned properly.”

Image: Back row: Skye Klitcher, Catherine Le Cornu, Dr Myra Thiessen and Timothy Casiero. Front row: Jessica George, Cenise Kidd and Emmerlee Heyes.