Design Thinking

Centered on Excellence


The Center for Learning & Innovation was created to explore alternative models of care delivery, specifically to improve the patient experience, lower costs, and improve population health.

Using Virtual Reality to Ease Anxiety

The use of non-pharmacological distraction techniques has proven to effectively manage anxiety from stressful healthcare experiences, from blowing bubbles and reading books, to utilizing technology like iPads. Most recently, we began using Virtual Reality (VR) devices, thanks to the work of the Center for Learning & Innovation and grant funds from the Auxiliary.


When it comes to healthcare, communication is critical. We are excited to implement a new on-demand, HIPAA-compliant interpretation service to help providers communicate effectively with patients who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency. The new system serves as an interpreter on wheels, providing access to certified medical interpreters at the touch of a button.


Pullman Regional Hospital's Center for Learning and Innovation recently partnered with Dr. Roland Chen’s engineering design class from Washington State University's Mechanical and Materials Engineering program to design a wearable arm sleeve simulator and chest tube simulator. “Wearable simulators keep the human connection and still provide a safe and realistic experience where healthcare providers can practice,” said Amber Roberts, Pullman Regional Hospital Education Coordinator.


New hospital maternity gowns are being designed based on an original prototype by Laurie Heimbigner, retired BirthPlace nurse. The Center for Learning and Innovation has partnered with Washington State University to work on the project to help improve patient experience and comfort. The two-piece garment—a belly-banded skirt and separate top—provides modesty and comfort to mothers and promotes skin-to-skin contact. This unique design also allows for monitors to be placed and stay in place without an obtrusive process.


Pullman Regional Hospital Center for Learning and Innovation and GemIIni Educational Systems have partnered to create an app to help people who wish to manage, modify, or reduce their accent in order to be better understood by others. The app uses a unique combination of x-ray images and written instructions to guide the user to recreate the correct sound.


Pullman Regional Hospital and Pullman School District are partnering to provide support to children and their families through the Collaborative Learning for Educational Achievement and Resilience (CLEAR) project. This Washington State University research-based project is designed to enhance healthy student development and academic success with the use of trauma-informed practices. Schools and communities that have implemented such practices have seen greater student academic success and an overall positive impact on student behavior and coping strategies; all resulting in a positive impact for communities. The Pullman School District began piloting this program with one school in the Fall of 2017.