Quality healthcare is vitally important, but with a lack of resources it can be hard for providers to meet these important needs. Health Services Innovation Tasmania is taking the challenge of providing quality healthcare via clinical redesign head-on, and helping healthcare professionals to  better utilise existing healthcare resources

Alison Garrett is Chief Executive Officer of the Hobart Clinic, and she took part in the HSI 5 day Applied Clinical Redesign Course.

Which HSI Tasmania workshop did you attend?

"The 5 day Applied Clinical Redesign Course held in 2016. My project assessed variation in admissions to our private psychiatric facility in terms of uneven workload, access to services/wait times and under-utilisation of beds/other resources. We have been successful in improving workload balance, client wait times and overall flow through the clinic. As a result of our work, an additional doctor has been recruited, doctor availability is now spread more appropriately across the week, patient boards are used to clearly show patient movement and bed availability and guidelines are under development for triage and admissions."

What practical tools and techniques did you learn for health service improvement in your workplace?

"I had already completed some of the components of the course previously through my own research or other training programs. What the 5-day course did for me was consolidate all those learnings into one package from which I can apply clinical redesign to workplace problems using all the component tools and techniques. I found the A3 methodology and lean thinking principles around removing waste and visual management to be particularly useful and have already applied these successfully at the clinic."

How have you benefitted personally from your attendance at HSI Tasmania courses?

"As well as consolidating a lot of learning into one practical package that I feel confident to apply, it was terrific to have a mentor (Peter Maree). My role is in the private sector which has a different focus, it was great to talk to Peter about the project and discuss the issues with him from a private sector perspective. The support regarding data analysis was exceptional."

How has your team and workplace benefitted from the application of the clinical redesign methodology in your workplace?

"Use of data analysis and having that analysis more visible has been of great benefit in driving improvement and involving employees in change. To be able to show people exactly what is happening helps them understand what is truly going on and to look at problems from different perspectives. We have had medical professionals who have re-considered their own practice methods after they have seen how others are performing in their area. Associated changes all help improve access for our patients.

"More specifically, we have applied the workshop tools and techniques for assessing waste to our TRIAGE practices and have been able to free up more beds and reduce wait times by using these tools.

"We’ve also applied the 5 S’s to other problems and encouraged clinic staff to apply them to problems they encounter on a daily basis. By way of example, we’ve ‘re-organised’ our whiteboards that show key patient information to be a quick visual cue for Doctors to quickly see each patients’ status and bed availability at any point in time."

How have your patients benefitted from clinical redesign solutions implemented in your workplace?

"It’s not just the patients who have benefitted - I tried to select a project that would benefit the clinic, the staff and the patients. We held discussion with and presented data to our doctors and other clinic personnel about our admission and discharge practices and the overall function of the clinic. By assessing the redesign problem together as a group we have been able to improve access and reduce wait times for our patients. We also now have more doctors who will work on Fridays which has been a significant improvement to patient access and wait times."

Would you recommend HSI Tasmania workshops and courses? Why/why not?

"Yes, the delivery and course structure was very good and all presenters were very knowledgeable. Separating the five days over a longer period of time was very good and the balance between theory and practical application was excellent. The practical exercises cemented learning beyond theory for attendees."

Would you attend another HSI Tasmania course/workshop?

"Certainly based on the quality of the 5-day course, yes I would attend another HSI Couse. My role is more focussed on governance, management and quality than clinical redesign so I am currently considering which direction I would like to take my studies in."

HSI Tasmania is helping our healthcare system to get healthier. Find out how you can get involved in the Health Services Innovation revolution.