The New School’s Human-Centered Healthcare certificate is attracting students from around the world. Tiina Hahto, a service designer from Finland, offers her perspective on the importance of this specialized field and how the certificate can make a difference for citizens globally.
“The idea behind human-centered healthcare is to put the customer at the center,” says Hahto, who is sponsored by her employer, the City of Helsinki. She said the robust content and the online coursework attracted her to the program at The New School. “It’s very specific for healthcare. I was immediately interested in [taking] it.”
Although Finland has a public healthcare system, there is still a need to acquire services from the private sector, and Hahto’s work revolves around this overlap between public and private.
“When we have to buy something from the private sector, we figure out—with service design methods—what we should require from the service provider to make the service better for customers. Those customer insights can be applied in the private sector as well as in our own services.” Hahto explained.
In Hahto’s workplace, “customer” can refer to anyone from a hospital patient to an average citizen. Working with disabled housing residents, Hahto implemented a “customer jury,” allowing residents to evaluate the service and care they received. Because of the large stakeholder group and the funds involved, Hahto says many of her other human-centered healthcare projects can take years to show results.
The certificate might point out differences in the U.S. healthcare system for many international students like Hahto.
Hahto hopes that the certificate differentiates her from others and offers her new methods for her work.