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Reducing Hospital Acquired Infection Rates While Improving Patient Experiences | By Paul Miklautsch

Identifying unmet needs in three procedures lead to clear opportunities across the continuum of care.


Our client was exploring hospital acquired infections related to procedures performed by three surgical specialties. The Bold team was asked to identify opportunities to extend their product and service portfolio into new areas within the broader continuum of care. 


The Bold research team conducted thirty-five interviews over the phone and in-person over the twelve-week project. This included talking with key opinion leaders (KOLs) related to HAIs, infection preventionists, floor nurses, scrub nurses, circulating nurses, colorectal surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and patients. 


Iterative In-Depth Interviews:

We conducted three rounds of interviews. The first was a small set with KOLs to help explore initial areas of interest and refine our approach to facilitating upcoming interviews. The second round of interviews engaged all stakeholders and 


resulted in an initial set of approximately 35 unique needs. The final round re-engaged the same breadth of stakeholders with the purpose of refining our understanding of the previously identified needs, prioritizing them based on their frequency of occurrence and severity of impact.  

We wrote structured need statements to help standardize our synthesis of insights regarding the problems discovered in our research.


Prioritizing Needs:

After completing the interviews and synthesizing a broad range of unmet needs, we obtained customer feedback which was used in an internal filtering process to down-select from 35 to 15 unique needs. A survey was distributed to a subset of the KOLs to critique each need on the following factors: 

  • Accuracy of the problem statement
  • Severity of the problem
  • Satisfaction with current solutions
  • Interest in future solutions



The feedback from KOLs allowed the team to further clarify our understanding of the problem and prioritize the findings to help drive the next steps, ensuring the most important opportunities were pursued. 

Findings were visualized through a number of physical and digital assets including a slide deck, a summary book, and the following set of infographic posters:

The Infection Prevention Landscape:  Macro pressures, stakeholder analysis, and professional organizations interactions 

The Continuum of Care and Current Solutions:  Demonstrating current interventions mapped to when they are utilized moving from prehospital through intraoperative to discharge

The Opportunity Map:  An overview framework of the unmet needs mapped to surgical specialty and moment of care

The Need Maps:  An articulation of the unique needs visualization in the context of the given procedure and/or process of interest

These materials were delivered through an in-person presentation to the front end team and leadership team. Key findings and recommendations were presented moving from broad findings of the infection prevention landscape to very specific opportunities in the form of individual unmet needs. 


Our insights allowed the client to: 

  • Initiate four new R&D programs to address unique unmet needs related to three surgical specialties
  • Define two initiatives to explore partnerships intended to tackle needs tangential to current offerings
  • Clarify the objectives of a marketing initiative to strengthen claims and messaging for an existing core product 
  • Identify critical evidence to support the value of one long-term, high cost, big-opportunity

By Paul Miklautsch - November 26, 2019

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