The old pattern beckons - 3 tips to maintain the innovative strength in healthcare!

Everything becomes liquid under pressure

Deep pockets, long breath and tireless enthusiasm. Typical and recognizable features of successful innovations in healthcare. And then suddenly there was the corona virus. This period taught us that everything becomes liquid under pressure. If you have to, you can do a lot, a lot. Creativity, resilience and togetherness therefore prevailed. Innovations that previously seemed impossible were started up in no time.

The gravity of ancient patterns

There is a lot of enthusiasm about the acceleration of new initiatives. I hear stories from patients who discover that bad news conversations are quite nice to have at home. In a private environment, without stress in the parking lot and tears in the corridor of the hospital. And it also helps the patient to take more control. Previously, the patient came to the hospital, showed his / her wound and passively heard the doctor say, "That looks good." While now the patient has to explain in detail what a wound looks like and together with the doctor determine whether it is good or not.

However, the old pattern is also lurking in healthcare. Video calling all day is tiring, it doesn't make care more efficient, and doctors or nurses wonder, "Don't I miss anything in an online consultation?" (also from this article where GPs say they would rather stop this amount of video calling again). And so the question is: How do we ensure optimal value for patient and professional?

Innovation with an understanding of the current context

At the same time, we must not lose sight of the current context. The most acute phase of the corona period may be over, but people are quietly preparing for a second wave. In addition, the focus is on scaling up regular care in a 1,5-meter society, which has halved capacity in many places. And don't forget: the bad results of the past few months. It does not look like that production will be up to standard within a few months, given the number of postponed referrals that have now increased to 1.2 million.

Balancing between the short and the long term

Healthcare therefore not only suffers from the pressure of a pandemic, but also a (future) shortage of labor and resources. This requires balancing between the short and long term. An advantage, the innovations that we have seen in the past period do not see groundbreaking, they do fit in with the larger movement that healthcare is already making and can play a role in solving problems in the short term. Take the example of image bubbles. Video calling makes it possible to scale up regular care faster because capacity increases and it fits in with the transition we are in: care home.

One of the biggest challenges we are facing now: how do you prevent gravity from gaining, especially during this period? How do you maintain the positive changes from the corona crisis?

Organizing fluidity

In the corona crisis, everything liquefied under high pressure. So the question is: how do you organize that fluidity without the crisis? We prefer to call it that Working agile. And this approach may take you very far in the near future. Note: do not blindly focus on the method, it is mainly about the right mindset.

3 tips to put the agile mindset into practice

Tip 1: A little less conversation, a little more action

A team that talks minimal, does maximum. No lengthy projects that fail, beautiful plans that are not implemented, but ensure an action-oriented rhythm.

Practical example: A multidisciplinary team will work on a list of priorities in a fixed rhythm and in a fixed structure. We have no plan, but a working method. This also requires other competences from the team. We assume, "What did we discuss last time?" to: 'I did this and will do this next week'.

Tip 2: All parties at the table and a common interest

Form a multidisciplinary team that also includes the patient or client. Also called, design with, not for. This team gets the time (!) To really immerse themselves in a case. Because what problem do we want to solve or what need do we want to meet and what is involved?

Practical example: We will work on the most crucial part of the care path. The participants will walk together and interview patients or clients. Because the team members will learn more about each other, there will automatically be more understanding of each other's situation. This creates a common interest, the beginning of change. We process the insights in a new customer journey: the care path after Covid-19. On to step 3.

Tip 3: Everything we intend is an assumption until it is validated

Sometimes ideas on the drawing board seem fantastic, but they don't work in practice. That is why it is necessary to formulate clear assumptions and to prototype an idea as quickly as possible. Create, learn and improve. Does it not work? No problem, but stop on time. Learn from the mistakes and share the lessons with others. On to the next priority.

Practical example: We will get started with a few experiments. We formulate clear assumptions for each experiment. What is the assumption (for example, all doctors are done with video calling) that everything depends on? What assumption would undermine the entire plan if it turns out to be untrue? We set out without judgment, we adjust if necessary and we learn by doing!

Having trouble getting started? Or just a real talker? Don't hesitate get in touch to record with me. I like to think along with you. And I'd rather help you get started! 

Published on
21 July 2020

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Ellen Wolters