A design thinking approach to effective vaccine safety communication

Curr Drug Saf. 2015;10(1):31-40. doi: 10.2174/157488631001150407105400.


The highly complex and controversial topic of vaccine safety communication warrants innovative, user-centered solutions that would start with gaining mutual respect while taking into account the needs, concerns and underlying motives of patients, parents and physicians. To this end, a non-profit collaborative project was conducted by The Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative, an international think tank aiming to promote vaccine safety research and communication, and the School of Design Thinking in Potsdam, Germany, the first school for innovation in Europe. The revolutionary concept of the Design Thinking approach is to group students in small multi-disciplinary teams. As a result they can generate ground-breaking ideas by combining their expertise and different points of view. The team agreed to address the following design challenge question: "How might we enable physicians to encourage parents and children to prevent infectious diseases?" The current article describes, step-by step, the ideation and innovation process as well as first tangible outcomes of the project.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Comprehension
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Health Communication / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Organizations, Nonprofit
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Safety
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaccination* / adverse effects
  • Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Vaccines