Post 1 | The Transformation Essentials Series
Welcome to the first blog of our new ‘Transformation Essentials’ series.
In this series you’ll be hearing from me, and others, about essential topics relating to the transformation of healthcare systems, starting with our own.
What is the aim? Well, I am really clear about that. Ko Awatea will help Counties-Manukau to become the best health system in the world, and as we do that we will share our learning widely.
What is the strategy? Ko Awatea will encourage, support, and provide the necessary ‘will, ideas and execution’ to achieve our aim.
This web site and all our communications will help to build will, bring people together to share ideas, knowledge and expertise, and will help to highlight the execution (the doing) that we achieve together.
But first – let’s be clear – I know we all have very limited time so I will try to provide you with the “essentials” – either directly or via links. Let me give you back some of that time you spend surfing the web – looking for the latest interesting idea or book or podcast. I will also provide you with thought-provoking words and quotes. Thinking deeply and innovatively is our key skill so I hope these ‘thoughtbeats’ will help to stimulate your thinking and ideas.
Why have I chosen ‘Transformation Essentials’ for the title of this series?
The fact is, transformation of healthcare systems is not an optional or part-time goal, it is a common challenge that everyone who works in healthcare must face and overcome. As our CEO, Geraint Martin wrote in his recent Sustainability and Excellence blog, ‘demand on the health system is both growing and changing. The reality is that if we don’t change the way we work, Middlemore will eventually seize up and we’ll simply run out of beds.’
So how should we respond? Should we just work harder? Learn more, research more, improve more? That won’t be enough – and it will wear us down. Our thinking must change. Our system must change. But where do we start in addressing this? What are the steps on a journey to best achieve the balance of patient experience, population health, and value for money?
Thinking deeply and differently to uncover pathways to a truly excellent and sustainable health system is our responsibility and opportunity.
This is why our Board has supported the establishment of Ko Awatea.
This is why healthcare improvement centres like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Oxford Centre for Healthcare Transformation exist and are our partners.
This is why we have generous, forward-looking sponsors.
This is why eminent healthcare leaders like Professor Sir Muir Gray and Lord Darzi have visited us, and why Professor Sir Mansel Aylward is with us now.
This is why campaigns like 20,000 Days are so important.
This is why we will host the Asia Pacific Health Improvement Conference in September.
This is why our joint venture education partners – Auckland University, AUT, and MIT – have joined us here at Ko Awatea, becoming part of the solution as career pathway agents and as fellow innovators, helping us to think our way through this most complex of challenges.
And thinking is the key.
What will a transformed system look like? I don’t know, but I am happy to defer to Muir Gray on some of the key steps we will explore en route to that transformation. He describes 20th century healthcare as being based on bureaucracies, whereas 21st century healthcare will be based on ‘knowledge-based systems of care’ and will have five quite different dimensions.
- Knowledge-based healthcare
- Citizen-centred healthcare
- Web-enabled care
- Better value healthcare
- Sustainable healthcare
You can learn more about Muir’s views on the components of transformation in his podcast What is a win-win health service?.
So, through this blog we will look at these and other important – ‘essential’ – steps towards a transformed health system, because our people deserve no less.
What do you think will be the features of a sustainable health system? Please comment with your thoughts and ideas.
And come back next week when I will blog about the first of the ‘essential’ steps that I think is needed to kick-start transformation.
Thanks for your time. After a blog-free summer (that wasn’t much of a summer, to be fair), it’s good to be back.
This series complements a forthcoming ‘Management’ series, led by our General Manager, Tanya Maloney, and ‘Voices’ series, which is for internal and external commentary.