Zorgkantoor Living Lab

Learning in a Living Lab: getting to the right care as quickly as possible

Living lab

Service blueprint

Customer journeys

Serious prototyping

The challenge

How do we ensure through a customer-friendly process that people get the right care as quickly as possible?

The approach

A care office helps arrange long-term care (WLZ) for patients with severe mental disabilities or Alzheimer's disease, for example. The service process behind this is complex: IT challenges and politically imposed, often changing regulations make applying for this care a complicated and time-consuming process for family members and caregivers. And they are often already under great emotional pressure.

Our task was to work with Zorgkantoor to significantly shorten the customer journey from entry to the delivery of appropriate care. This is not an easy feat in a complex landscape.

Understanding exactly how a process works is crucial for service delivery processes and healthcare innovation. That's why we employed the Living Lab method, which combines service design and experiment design. We created a small testing ground where we could learn 'in real life' how the collaboratively designed new version of the intake process functioned.

We began with a service blueprint ('how it currently works') and a customer journey map ('what the customer experiences'). By combining these, we could see in a single overview how the process flows, the interaction between clients, employees, and IT systems, and simultaneously the journey the client takes through the service. In the subsequent phase, we designed the service delivery process as clients and the Care Office would ideally like to see it, without being hindered by "this can't be done" or "this is not allowed".

Immediately afterward, we ventured into the real world. With a Living Lab team consisting of a care consultant, an administrative assistant, and two of our experiment designers, we created a prototype of the previously entirely paper-based and thus error-prone registration procedure. It became a digital intake form that replaced the twelve physical forms clients normally have to fill out. Clients then, with their knowledge, went through the new intake process. Every indication for an adjustment in the procedure or the prototype was promptly noted and, if possible, implemented the same day.

In the Living Lab, we quickly learned together how to shift 'informed choice conversations' back to being about care instead of administration. We learned how to organise our internal administration so that the processing time for applications became faster. We learned what the supporting digital processes should look like, a key question from the IT department. We learned about the crucial factor of language use. Various forms used complex, constantly changing terms, filled with bureaucratic WLZ jargon. From the very beginning, we imposed the rule "everything in plain language" on ourselves. And we could go on like this for a while.

In the final phase, we moved from one team to more and more teams working according to the new process. This scaling allowed the Living Lab team to gather quantitative insights into the acceleration of the process, the impact on processing time, and customer satisfaction. This enabled us to build the business case, providing crucial information for the management of the Care Office to justify decisions on investments in ICT, personnel, and process changes.  

The impact

Application process reduced From 35 to 8 days

Validated more efficient work processes for clients, staff and IT

NPS score increased to 8,9

IT and organization roadmap as a basis for successful implementation and scaling

Do you want to get started with a Living Lab?

'A difficult process is never enjoyable, of course, but for the family of those in need of care, it's even more bothersome. How remarkable would it be if you can bring improvement to that? It has a tremendous impact, and people are truly grateful for it.'

Daan van Hal

Experiment designer MakerLab

Haags Montessori Lyceum

Innovation in education: the Inhouse Expert at work at Haags Montessori Lyceum

Time for innovation?

Sander Goudswaard

Partner MakerLab

+31 6 41 36 81 66




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