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Blueprint task: Personas as an asset of the Blueprint

06/07/2020

Using personas to optimise hypertension care

The Health Centre Zagreb Centar in the city of Zagreb in Croatia, is one of the EIP on AHA Reference Sites. At the centre, we used the Blueprint personas when beginning to look for innovative monitoring solutions to improve people’s health and optimise hypertension care. The focus of the effort was on the self-management of hypertension care.

Persona mapping is a common and useful tool in change management. In this case, we were looking for a change management framework that would be useful to both the demand and supply sides.

The Blueprint personas provided an excellent foundation to take two actions. It:

  • Enabled assessment of the potential end-users’ needs when searching for developed solutions.

Provided different perspectives on the potential change management strategies that could be used in a field testing phase.

We assessed the 12 Blueprint personas for ones that matched the targeted patient group – people with hypertension. Personas matching the targeted patient group were Antonio, Eleni, Jacqueline, Nikos and Procolo. We identified five personas that have hypertension, and three that need regular blood checks/hypertension screening. Two personas with a hypertension diagnosis were from a group with chronic conditions and/or particular social needs. Three were from a group of patients with complex needs.

We felt that using the Blueprint personas has several key advantages over inventing some new personas. This is because they:

Have been developed and validated by expert teams.

  • Represent well the potential needs of people with hypertension. (Indeed, the broad and sufficiently complex representation of people with hypertension was particularly important to experts).
  • Provide broad insights into relevant aspects that could influence change management needs such as digital literacy.
  • Supply enough evidence of cross-validation (both from professionals and patients) of the Blueprint personas for expert teams to feel confident about their use.

Indeed, Assistant Professor Antonija Balenović, Director of the Health Centre Zagreb – Centar, commented:

We would definitely recommend the persona approach in any similar type of situation – it reduces the workload and cost of the early phases of strategic planning. We see the Blueprint personas as an excellent, cross-validated tool. They help support the use of other traditional research tools – such as surveys and interviews. They really help guide the development of novel ICT solutions in healthcare that are relevant for the needs of the patients.”

This activity was undertaken in the context of the Health Status Monitor project (HSMonitor): https://hsmonitor-pcp.eu. This is a European-funded initiative that focuses on pre-commercial procurement of tools and services: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/pre-commercial-procurement.

Related action groups: 
A1 Adherence to prescription, A2 Falls prevention, A3 Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease, B3 Integrated care, C2 Independent living solutions, D4 Age friendly environments
Relevance to partnership: 
Active ageing and independent living, Care and cure, Horizontal issues and framework conditions, Prevention, screening and early diagnosis