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Making it understandable- final projects

February 10, 2012

Yesterday I managed to catch the last hour of student presentations for Making it (Healthcare Reform) Understandable. Seeing the final products was a treat- when I met with the students earlier this month these projects were just rough ideas.

Here’s a sampling of what they created-

Min Kim asked herself the question- why are Rhode Islanders required to buy insurance for their cars, but not for themselves? She decided to highlight the inconsistency in a gorilla messaging campaign. It’s hard to ignore the result-

Why Not Insure Your Self? Installation by Min Kim

Yep. It’s a transparency that makes it look like someone’s bashed a hole in your windshield.   The basic message is- you have insurance in case a baseball smashes your car, but are you insured if a baseball hits your face?

Min Kim's health insurance propaganda/fake broken glass

Another playful take on health reform education was this board game by Nobu Irie-

Game of Life – Health Care Edition by Nobu Irie

Irie comes from Japan, and he logically asked me how he could find the actual cost of certain medical procedures. He wanted a realistic number when players landed on a square like “you need knee surgery.” I told him those numbers are proprietary in the United States.  Plus, they’re different depending on what hospital you use and what insurance plan you have.  The insanity of that fact blew his mind.

One of the cards in Nobu Irie's Game of Life

The game is full of health emergencies phrased in the hilarious tone of a board game. One spot reads-

Are you serious? A cancer is found. Get a cancer card. If you have a cancer screening card, you can discard this cancer card for $2.

Several of the student projects explored the state’s health insurance exchange. This one explained the concept using knitted hats.

Coverage, It's Like Hats by Alaina Nuehring

Alaina Nuehring didn’t just imagine different types of hats to represent the different types of people using the health insurance exchange, she actually hand knit all of them herself, complete with a tag describing the person and how much money they’d pay in premiums.

Alaina Nuehring's hats

Another student decided to explain the health insurance exchange using her own take on a first aid kit.

Information Kit for the Exchange by Aimee Dakyung Kim

Aimee Dakyung Kim is an industrial design major and she said making that wooden box was harder than she thought it would be. Inside is a timeline of the health insurance exchange wrapped up like a bandage, a visual glossary of medical terms, and postcards for educating your friends.

Inside Aimee Dakyung Kim's Information Kit for the Exchange

These are just a few of the awesome student projects. You can see more photos on the class flickr stream. I don’t see images from the final critique yet, but they should be up there soon.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 12:46 am

    Amazing ideas for student projects.

  2. February 13, 2012 8:02 am

    These projects really do point out the insanity of our medical system.

    I work for a local hospice and a lot of our intake work is a function of the complexity of the system, coverage and who has to pay and how much of that they have to pay. It’s really a bit insane (especially when you’re dying).

    • February 13, 2012 11:04 am

      It is extremely confusing. So confusing, there are many things I still don’t totally understand and I do this for a living! What’s do you think is the solution to this madness? Or is it normal for a system this important to have many moving parts?

      • February 13, 2012 10:21 pm

        I hesitate to say that we’re not living in a politically rational environment. The active GOP rank and file have moved so far to the right (and they’ve dragged the GOP leadership with them) that they don’t offer any credible help as a counterweight to the Democrats.

        I still believe that some sort of single-payer system makes the most sense. Although it’s not perfect, Medicare has shown itself to be as competitive if not more than private insurance. The government also runs the health service for the Veteran’s Administration, which provides some of the best medical care in the country. Both of these show the government can run health care, despite what too many critics say.

        Granted we have to find a way to contain health care costs, which may require rethinking the way medicine is practiced and for the public to accept a reframing of health outcomes (such as helping people accept the reality of dying gracefully and with wholeness).

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