The Innovating Health Series returned to Canberra for another milestone in its series of design executive events. A design thinking format is used at these events as a way to move beyond discussion, harness collective experience of health leaders in the room, and strive to achieve practical outcomes and take-aways for progressing digital health innovation and implementation of change.
This event examined how the digital health ecosystem can evolve to deliver measurable improvements in healthcare outcomes to the disadvantaged. The problem statement was introduced by our Innovation Guide, Georgina de Beaujeu, General Manager Organisational Development and Support, Star Health Group. Star Health are a Victorian based community health service provider dealing with the complexities of health and social care in the community. Georgina was asked to contextualise a case example addressing the overall discussion theme of disadvantage, access to care, and health outcomes. Many of these people may also deal with social issues such as homelessness, community housing, unemployment, domestic violence etc. and the resulting impacts on the health and social care sector.
Whilst the health system strives to provide equal access to treatment and care for everyone, we know that some people and population groups have poor access to both health and social care services generally leading to worse health outcomes. As the Australian digital health ecosystem of payers, providers and digital intermediaries grows in capability and capacity, how does it target deprived populations? We know historically, cookie cutter approaches to health service provision have not improved health outcomes for
deprived populations. In fact, the ‘worried well’ have been the fastest adopters of digital health.
The design thinking session over lunch provided the opportunity to work through the stated problem with a group of 25+ health leaders and consumer group representatives. There was active discussion with a number of key insights and outputs from the event.
The take-away points from this health leader discussion are highlighted in the summary report here.