An Eye-Catching Functional Design

Case Study 5.8

Redesigned Intake Binders See Years of Success at MWPH

In 1922, a medical social worker named Hortense Kahn Eliasberg sought to open a home where children could safely recover from illness and surgery. Thanks to her efforts, the Happy Hills Convalescent Home for Children opened later that year in Northwest Baltimore. It has since evolved into Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH), a leader in pediatric care. Co-owned by both the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine, MWPH serves children with medically complex conditions from birth to age 21.

The Challenge

Upon patient intake, MWPH put together a 3-ring binder for every patient with a variety of resources like departmental information, vital contacts, a campus overview, and specifics about the child’s needs and service line treatments. However, the contents were poorly written, redundant, and inconsistent.

MWPH turned to Graphcom for suggestions on how to create a new package that would speak to each department and stakeholders’ specific needs.


The Solution

A huge part of our job was helping MWPH figure out what information was available and necessary to include from the different departments. From here, we provided recommendations on how this information should be organized into new booklets, how many different booklets they needed, and so forth. We reviewed all of their old materials, interviewed various stakeholders, and wrote drafts of the new content.

One of our greatest feats was getting input from all of the stakeholders so that we could edit and craft the content to a point that everybody would agree on. Each manager had their own agenda, and of course, believed with a passion that their program was important. The Intake team wanted something simpler to hand out, and they didn’t want to collate the pieces into the folders. The Supply Chain/Facilities teams were concerned about storage space, and the Marketing team was concerned about costs.

mwph intake binder cover
woman looking at the mwph intake binder



On top of that, the sheer volume of information that needed to be communicated was massive, and to do it in a way that met everyone’s needs was extremely difficult—but we did it! Graphcom played a vital role in bringing together many business units who had previously operated in silos, to collaborate and accomplish this specific goal.

The concept and design was the fun part—we were able to take this piece from a boring, text-only 3-ring binder to something colorful, uplifting, and hopeful with photos of kids who were happy, healing, and healthy. In the end, we settled on a capacity pocket folder that could store four new booklets on one side, with room to insert additional sheets of paper, and four individual business cardholders. Individual stakeholders were able to customize the packages as they saw fit.

The Results

Graphcom executed this project in 2015, and these intake binders are still being utilized today. They’ve fulfilled the needs of the various stakeholders using them and do a great job of representing the MWPH brand. Eye-catching and functional, the new intake binder received rave reviews from individual stakeholders, parents of patients who received them, and leadership at large.


What’s Next?

While the binders and their content have held up for years after the original design, it came time to make a few updates to keep the materials current. In summer 2020, Graphcom made simple copy edits to ensure the relevancy and accuracy of the information, as well as refreshing the design by replacing the cover art with photos. These straightforward updates will keep MWPH’s intake binders fresh, up-to-date, and, most importantly, useful to patients’ families and others who use them.

interior spread of MWPH intake binder

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