Summary 5 button

The Innovating Health Series returned to Melbourne. This roundtable re-examined the Culture of Innovation in Healthcare with a particular focus on ‘system innovation’. It addressed a problem statement from a previous session.

“Healthcare has plenty of innovation. We have world leading research, development of new drugs, treatments and medical devices, advancing digital systems and an ever-expanding digital health start-up sector building smart solutions. The problem is that these innovations are fragmented, not-connected or take too long to implement. We don’t just need product innovation in healthcare, we need system innovation.”

Through this series, the Culture of Innovation keeps coming up as key issue or barrier to healthcare moving forward. Often these statements are couched in administrative or regulatory barriers. It has also been observed that in terms of innovation, there is a lot of noise and energy, but generally the primary drive is to support digital business and jobs growth, and second is to solve problems of the day.

Certainly, our health systems need greater connectivity. Connectivity to deliver efficiency and effectiveness gains which are increasingly required, but also to bring true connectivity between clinical service providers and multi-disciplinary teams across the service continuum. Connectivity between clinical services, care providers and patients to better empower the consumer to manage, participate and indeed to better enable their own health and wellness.

But connectivity – often far beyond health systems and health policy – also helps us to find new ideas, new approaches, new ways of working. In turn, these can spur paradigmatic shift in our health systems and approaches – defining the pathway to the health systems and outcomes of the future. Ultimately – the greatest challenge of all is one of “how”.

We welcomed back to series Simon Terry who led our first conversation on culture, together with Prof Vishaal Kishore as our discussion guides to explore the challenges of health system innovation and cultural change. Both guides brought different experiences and perspectives on system innovation in healthcare. The aim was to build threads of a story acknowledging that people, culture and change is a really difficult problem but there is opportunity. The discussion was the most thought provoking and pragmatic to date with a number commitments from attendees to pick up the outcomes from the session and identify “crucibles” for change. Actions to take back to their own organisation that contribute to system innovation and change. This was a great outcome for series which seeks to move away from issues towards practical change.

A number of take-away points from the discussion were captured and can be found here to view the report.