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How do we BEGIN Developing New Services in Healthcare?

care patient
Times are evolving, and the recent debate and general lack of support around General Practitioner co-payments (see Australian Financial Review article)  indicate that policies derived by pure economic assessments can sometimes be unpopular in the real political world of healthcare. I have to admit, at first, the idea of a price signal may legitimately reduce consumption of GP services by “over-users”.

But after some thought and discussions with my network of doctors, Medicare Locals providers and healthcare experts, it was clear that this ‘GP tax’ as some are calling it, could actually harm those that need GP services most, such as the financially disadvantaged. It is also questionable whether “public overusage” really is one of the major root causes of rising costs in the system. Which is why I asked Darrell Mann, a world leading problem solver with the National Health Service in the UK to give us some ideas on better solutions to these system issues in 2 upcoming seminars.

It brought me to a discussion I have been having with many readers of the Future Solutions in Australian Healthcare White Paper. Most healthcare leaders and managers who read the Paper felt that its contents really resonated with them. But many had the question afterward “This is all great Avi, I agree with most of what is in the Paper, but what do we actually do next?”. This is not surprising, as if you go back a decade to research conducted by Rix et al, many reform issues are still topical and they’re root causes remain the same.

Basically, today’s leaders wanted to know how to implement the findings from the White Paper in future delivery of health services. This was particularly pertinent with organisations launching new healthcare services or even Medicare locals looking at restructuring their offerings into Primary Health Networks.

And so the common question is “where do we start with making a change”. My answer is always, it depends on your organisation BUT, like with any system change, always consider the VOICE of the end-user (consumer, patients, staff, etc) and make that the no. 1 thing you do. Get that intelligence around what their REAL NEEDS are (now and into the future), and use those insights for your services redesign and development of new offerings.

Now this might seem as self-explanatory as a class on “Restructuring 101”. However, from my experience, that this first step is often poorly executed, leading to many ongoing system issues and here’s why:

  1. Lack of time, money, resources, and/or expertise result in hurried decisions – we often miss talking to the end-users of our services and ironically, it actually costs the system more afterward.
  2. Instead of doing the neccessary end-user research, we instead use the opinion of experts, and occassionally consumer representatives. Whilst this is valid, there can sometimes be a gap between what management experts think and what it is really occurring at the front line. Despite their best efforts, it is also unrealistic to expect that a handful of consumer representatives can adequately voice the multiple perspectives of thousands or even millions of people.
  3. When populations need are assessed, they are often extrapolated from secondary data sources and public health studies. Whilst this gives a “big picture view on needs”, they rarely provide the necessary accuracy that comes from speaking to actual local consumers of the service.
  4. In cases where consumer surveys are conducted, it can often include the more vocal “public champions” or those who show up based on the financial incentives provided. This ‘gifting bias’ can cause misrepresentation of the true needs of consumers.
So…. is there are better way? Well, thankfully yes, and that is what Darrell Mann will be speaking about. Darrell will be talking about his strategies working with underperforming hospitals and local health systems in the UK. He will explain how the initial analysis of the problem (ie. Problem Definition stage) is the key to developing the right solution for a healthcare product of service.


He will also explain how the use of new technologies (Pansensic) and “BIG DATA” is changing how we obtain more accurate end-user insights in developing new systems, and will provide examples from healthcare and other industries.


Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from Darrell in his short trip to Australia. Here are the details of his two seminars, which are FREE for the Energesse community of healthcare leaders.


Live Event 1 – Online Webinar

Topic:   “Measuring Success in Healthcare” followed by Q & A
Date:     Thursday, 23rd October 2014
Time:     7pm – 8pm
Register here for the webinar

This live online presentation will focus on how outcomes and major issues in the National Health Services (NHS UK) are measured using patient and staff experiences. It will also describe how latest technologies are being utilized to measure success in these areas. There will be time for Q & A with the audience on the webinar.

Live Event 2 – Seminar in Sydney

Topic:   “New Methodology in Consumer and Patient Understanding” followed by Networking
Date:     Monday, 27th October 2014
Time:     9am Registration for 9.30am start. Concludes 11am
Venue:   Sydney CBD, to be confirmed

This event is catered for individuals involved in market research, consumer analytics, employee experiences and patient understanding. Darrell will cover the latest methodologies used in measuring the ‘intangibles’ which includes developing solutions from opinions and experiences. His cutting-edge technology platform, PanSensic, will be covered in more detail. This technology is now being used across multiple industries worldwide. Spaces are free of charge but limited.

These are special events tailored for your needs so you have plenty of time to ask questions.

If you have any questions, please contact Olivia at or 02 8091 0918.

About the Author: Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

Dr Avi is a medical doctor with broad healthcare sector experience including hospitals, biotech, pharmaceuticals and the wellness industry. He is a leading expert who coaches and consults to senior executives, entrepreneurs, practitioners, organisations and governments.