Section 1: The challenge of service innovation
‘If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got.’
‘To focus relentlessly on improving the quality of care patients receive.’
‘To move away from cost containment and seek to harness innovation.’
What might be driving innovation and change in your clinical practice and the way services are delivered to patients?
This question is likely to trigger a wide range of thoughts, depending on where you work and what you have recently experienced. You may be thinking about, for example:
- the financial constraints linked to the current climate of public sector austerity
- an increasing focus on standardising aspects of ‘patient pathways’
- complex multiple long-term conditions and desires to bring care closer to home
- the impact of technology and the potential of telemedicine
- the changing nature of clinical roles and their redesign.
The context for innovation
Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of these drivers for innovation and change in healthcare, many of which apply globally.
Read the report on Fixing Healthcare from the Economist Intelligence Unit. You may like to read the whole report. But if you have time constraints we suggest you concentrate on the Executive Summary, Chapter 3 and the Conclusion.
As you read, ask yourself how far some of the local drivers for innovation that you can identify for your own clinical service area are reflected nationally and even internationally. Perhaps reading about pressures on health systems internationally has triggered further thoughts about the nature of local pressures on your own service.
In particular we want you to think about the current and likely future impact of:
Make some notes on your reflections in your MyStuff learning journal. Summarise the pressures your service is currently under and how these pressures are likely to develop in the coming years.