How are the new hospitals going to meet the patients? 

The Objective

In light of the development of new hospital functions in Denmark, The New University Hospital in Aarhus (DNU) wished to carry out a development process involving users in order to explore what the outpatient clinics of the future might look like. What functions should the reception area include in the future?


Healthcare personnel from Aarhus University Hospital and Skejby Hospital engaged in creative processes to develop visions for what functions the outpatient clinics and reception areas of the future might include. Where should they be placed in relation to one another? How do we define a good patient experience in the reception area, and what kinds of service should patients expect to meet here?


The development process resulted in concrete recommendations to include in the building program. For example, it was proposed that a learning process for patients should be offered to ensure that most patients are able to care for themselves independently after their treatment.


‘At DNU, we have done more projects with Conceptmaking: one on the emergency ward of the future (The Beating Heart) and another project on the patient reception areas of the future. In both cases, professionals from different departments at Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus Hospital and Skejby Hospital participated in workshops designed to help them come up with ideas about where the different functions should be placed.

Conceptmaking has been really good at getting participants engaged and relating to participants’ day-to-day experiences.

Varied ways of working, solid preparation and infectious enthusiasm got participants engaged, and a number of departments have since reported that their participating staff members returned “home” with enthusiasm, ideas and a positive attitude about the challenges of the future.

In the Project Division, where our primary responsibility is to oversee the construction of DNU, our engagement with Conceptmaking has made us much more attentive to how we should influence the design of DNU’s organisation and clarify our requirements and expectations for how different professional groups and medical specialisations must work together.

It’s actually much less about construction than we assumed at first.’

User Coordinator Kaspar Bo Laursen and Project Manager Signe Overgaard, projektleder – Project Unit, The New University Hospital in Aarhus (DNU).