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UHN OpenLab . Hospital Handbook

Project role

ux/ui designer, visual designer, information architect, researcher

A UHN OpenLab project


When patients come to hospital it can be like going to a foreign country.  The language is different, the customs seem odd and the terrain can be offputting.  The Hospital Handbook is a friendly and interactive handbook designed by patients for patients.

In order to facilitate hospital adoption of the Hospital Handbook model we undertook devleopment of a hybrid handbook. We needed to bridge the needs of the hospital administration and the patients while improving administration uptake of the new style of book.

Healthcare is data driven, therefore following development of the hybrid handbook we undertook a patient study, to assess the patient experience with the handbook before, during, and after a hospital stay. The results of the study lead to further iteration of the handbook and utlimately an improved handbook which is currently being reviewed by Toronto Genreal Hopsital.


The unique voice and tone of the Hopsital Handbook had been very well received and had gained much anecdotal success with patients.  Riding on this wave of success the hybrid handbook project focused on bringing this unique character to the content required by hospital administration.

A content audit of the UHN Hospital Directory highlighted areas of necessary content as well as areas that could be edited or deleted to create a more streamlined and easily accessed handook.

Previous patient feedback allowed us to make assumptions and prioritations regarding content.




Content was rewritten to match the conversational and engaging tone of the OpenLab Handbook.

Illustrated maps were created to simplify the patient experience.

A streamlined index was put in place to help patients find what they needed quicly and easily.



All of the content, illustrations, and maps were packaged into a patient friendly, enagaging and easily accessible handbook.

We then went onto study the fully merged hybrid version of the hospital handbook to assess wether this book met the needs of the general public as well as the needs of the Hospital administration. The study looked at the qualtitative and quantitative usefulness of this hybrid hospital handbook in comparison to the traditional hospital directory.

The study highlighted further revisions that were needed in the hybrid handbook, which were then completed prior to handing the book off to the TGH staff.

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