Collaboration is the New Black in Healthcare

These last few months, I’ve been working on an industry White Paper called “Future Solutions for Australian Healthcare”.

The intention of this White Paper is to identify unique insights that exist within the Australian healthcare system in order for us to really look at areas where sub-sectors of healthcare can collaborate with each other in order to solve common problems.

The White Paper’s  intention is also to identify potential strategic alliances within different areas of the healthcare industry and this also includes the wellness industry.

It is time to identify, approach, and develop models outside traditional healthcare models in order for us to achieve solutions to the problems that we currently experience.

It was Albert Einstein that said “We can’t solve the problems of the past with the consciousness that created it.” In essence, what Albert Einstein was saying is we need a new way of thinking in order to solve the healthcare problems of the future.

The government currently spends in excess of a $140 billion a year in Australian healthcare. That’s a lot of money and yet we continue we continue to have problems where the industry is fragmented, not everyone receives an equitable level of healthcare and there are many people that still don’t receive the value in healthcare that they actually deserve. At the same time, the government is faced with costs that are spiraling.

In Australia, the problem is moderate but becoming worse with the nation’s spending about 9.4% of GDP in healthcare. In the US, the problem is increasingly acute where the spend is about 17% of GDP, a phenomenon that is unsustainable.

Things have to change.

I have worked as a clinical doctor in the UK as well as Australia, I’ve worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, I’ve worked in wellness and alternative health and I’ve seen many different areas of healthcare. What was really phenomenal to me was that everybody is in it for the right reason, everybody wants to make a positive difference, everybody wants to make changes.

But what’s interesting is that all these different sectors are still working in silos. They are all trying to achieve similar objectives and wanting to improve patient outcomes but not really coordinating with other parties in doing so. And if they are, then they’re not doing it very strategically or in a way that can make the most impact.

Now, maybe I was lucky. May be all the people that I worked with in all those different sub-sectors were good people and I missed the ones that were in it for profit or to harm patients or to make things in the healthcare system worse.

I have to be honest I didn’t really come across too many of those people in all my 15 years of healthcare.

If they do exist, they’re in the vast minority. However, that’s just my humble opinion.

You may call me naïve or ignorant. I, on the other hand, choose to see the flip side of the coin and look at the opportunities for those that have similar visions, passions and beliefs to come together to solve some of these problems in the healthcare industry.

I believe that health insurance, pharmaceuticals, doctors, nurses, allied health, alternative health can come together to work things out and share resources, work synergistically and work more efficiently to solve the problems that we currently face in the healthcare industry which are primarily still lack of equitable care, average patient outcomes, and rising costs that are unsustainable.

I don’t believe the pot needs to get bigger. I just think it needs to be shared around a lot more.

As such, my organization Energesse as an independent specialist consultancy in healthcare and wellness is developing an industry White Paper in collaboration with several other consulting agencies. This industry White Paper is dedicated towards identifying those synergistic opportunities with different sectors of the healthcare industry and to solve common problems.

Thus far, we have already identified and secured 8 of the top 20 leading authorities and thought leaders as well as CEOs in Australian healthcare to combine their knowledge and expertise in one solid voice.

I’ve now learned that we also now have the opportunity to present the findings of this White Paper at the “Future of Medicare Conference” in Sydney in August of this year.

Along the way, I will be presenting similar ideas and looking for collaborators at the various conferences I speak at such as the “Future of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Summit”, the “Health Insurance Summit” in Sydney, as well as the “World Congress of Prevention and Wellness” in San Diego.

And so my question to you is this- how can you as a healthcare provider collaborate with another provider within your sub-sector to deliver better patient outcomes and to do things more efficiently such that you can share resources and actually reduce the costs of the healthcare system?

I think everybody’s ideas are required at this point in time and so is yours. Let me know what your thoughts are and what your ideas may be, the future of the healthcare system needs it.