The term ‘Thriving in Difficult Times’ has become a ‘catch phrase’ for Counties Manukau Health and for health systems across the globe facing challenges such as growing demand, ageing populations, financial constraints and limited resources.
I think it’s fair to say we have been ‘Thriving in Difficult Times’ for the past few years, and while the term still has meaning today, CM Health is taking the next step and taking an active role in shaping and designing a sustainable and robust healthcare system for the future.
Last century’s health practitioners created a healthcare system addressing the needs of their times, but the ever-changing health environment means we must evolve to be able to meet the needs of future generations.
This can only be achieved through innovative thinking and new approaches, and the creation of different models, or refinement of existing ones.
The theme for this year’s Asia Pacific Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare (APAC) is Innovate Today, Design Tomorrow and the image of the young boy on his skateboard with the jet pack and homemade wings captures this nicely. Here is a boy with big dreams, who has taken the design of his aeroplane further than most young boys, used what he could find, and based it on solid principles. He is not afraid to take the plunge. He represents what innovation is about and gets us thinking about the possibilities of what the future could hold. It’s an image that reflects the heart of the forum.
I don’t believe innovation is prescriptive and can be taught in classrooms. To me, innovation can be sparked from the most unlikely sources and even by accident. Very often innovation begins with conversations at Forums that prompt discussion, debate and the chance to bounce around ideas about the challenges faced with your peers and colleagues from around the world.