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Aug
8

I’ve been interested in innovations for a long time and my efforts in Health-tech, such as coreplus.com.au, are driven by a burning desire to help Australian’s with healthcare outcomes by helping health practitioners innovate your healthcare practices.

Whilst innovation appears heavily linked to start-up/ early stage tech companies with plenty of media and education energy put into promoting entrepreneurship, what doesn’t get celebrated as much is innovation in allied healthcare practices.

As I’ve traveled around Australia visiting many health practitioners, it’s clear that innovations are happening within healthcare practices.  But I’ve also noticed that a lot of allied health practices in particular are not embracing innovation and this is delaying getting access to productivity gains and better outcomes for your business, your healthcare services and your clients.

So I thought I would summarize the “types of innovations” you can undertake and consider the following:

  1. How do you become a healthcare innovator
  2. What could hamper you, and
  3. How do you innovate pragmatically for immediate effect

Types of innovations

For something to be considered an innovation it should be new or at least an improvement to your business and increase productivity.

Here are generally the main types of innovations:

  • Product innovations – changes to existing goods or services or the creation of new ones.
  • Process innovations – changes to production and delivery methods.
  • Organisational innovations – changes in business processes or to workforce organisation.
  • Marketing innovations – changes in marketing methods including changes in packaging of goods/ services, in promotion/ placement of goods/ services and changes in methods of pricing goods/ services.

It’s important to note that innovation does not necessarily need to be developed by a business but can also be obtained or acquired from other businesses.

How you become a healthcare innovator?

We all to often hear about the big worldwide impacts of innovation, however, innovation permeates daily life.  Our attitudes play a big role. In particular, whether we embrace the idea, or whether we don’t.

In other words, everyone has the capacity to innovate, so you don’t need to be an Elon Musk!

When you innovate you are improving your business chances for growth and on-going success whilst putting more time into healthcare outcomes for your clients. This comes about through productivity gains which can improve many factors such as workplace sentiment & culture, revenue, profit and value to your customer.

Knowledge also passes to those who use innovation, so called know how…and then it’s enhanced through feedback to those who produce innovation. This is probably the most valuable part of innovation as it produces leanings which go on to produce improvements and further innovation.

When you take action to innovate, you are gaining benefits for your own business whilst contributing to the overall improvement for yourself and your customers, employees, suppliers and so on.

So by having an innovation mindset and attitude to take action you are now ready to innovate.

What could hamper your innovation aspirations?

Whilst there are no doubt benefits to innovation, some things could get in the way such as high costs, lack of knowledge/ skilled staff and legal/ compliance factors.

For example, the Privacy Act in Australia has specific principals for healthcare providers in relation to client information and this has a direct bearing on what types of electronic systems you’re using and where the data is stored or sent to (especially when using foreign software or software that is designed for foreign markets).

Another example are the rules AHPRA has around advertising that could limit some of your marketing innovation.

In relation to cost, fortunately the evolution of the internet technology has resulted in a great deal of cost reduction in obtaining access to health-tech innovations that can add a lot of value to healthcare practices. However, the more customized your business processes are the more difficult it will be to find systems to suit and then cost becomes a major factor to develop software.

How do you innovate pragmatically for immediate effect?

Well, the key is to gain access to the knowledge and guidance relevant to your area of healthcare and to work with products/ services/ people who are innovative and focus on your practice type, industry and legal/ regulatory jurisdiction.

In doing so, you will access know-how, which will grow you as a business owner or as a healthcare practitioner and in turn this will free up your time to find other good reasons to innovate further.

I’ve set out some low hanging fruit and right now opportunities to innovate within your healthcare practice:

Changing or adding to the way you deliver healthcare services to your client e.g.

  • enabling online bookings with coreplus to support the continuity of care with your clients whilst offering them 24/7 access to your available appointments,
  • Using tele-health capabilities to provide some of your services with integrated and Certified Add-Ons like Physitrack.

Finding new sources of client referrals e.g.

  • Become involved in groups and affiliations that create more awareness of your areas of practice for cross promotion/ referrals.
  • Enable Secure Messaging with your coreplus eHealth plan and promoting your Secure Message address to GP, Hospital and/ or Specialist referrers.

(NB:In the very near future, GP’s and Hospitals will only communicate with other healthcare providers via approved electronic formats and infrastructure e.g. secure messaging and digital health enabled systems.)

Doing things more efficiently e.g.

  • Learn more about coreplus’s full feature set, workflows and claiming capabilities.
  • Look for Add-Ons that can enhance the way you engage with clients or interact with government and payers.

Improve quality of service e.g.

  • Use templates for recurring processes
  • Working with Instant Messaging inside coreplus to co-ordinate between your front of house and practitioners
  • Implement SMS reminders for your clients to ensure they never forget an appointment

Learn more about running the business of healthcare

  • Look for advisers in coreplus’s Partner network who can assist with virtual reception, book keeping, marketing, training and cultural development
  • Look for integrator’s and advisers who can set up your business processes, templates and practice policies better than ever before.
  • Join established networks of peers who are evolving practice models and techniques.

Conclusion

You just need some time, effort and an attitude to be innovative in healthcare.

Surround yourself with products/ services and people who are innovative and focused on your industry.

If you’re using paper systems, switch to software and innovate your business processes.

If you’re using faxes, switch to secure messaging and innovate the way you receive referrals and how you communicate with your referrers securely and privately.

If you’re waiting for phone calls, switch to online bookings to connect and schedule your clients at their convenience.

There are so many right now ways to innovate.

Tapping into existing innovation from coreplus.com.au and it’s integrated software and partner network will help unlock productivity within your practice and will free up time for you to focus on developing your healthcare practice to greater heights…or take a day off!

If you have any questions on the above, feel free to connect or contact me via LinkedIn or contact our incredibly friendly and amazing customer success team via our in product direct messaging or by email.

NB: coreplus.com.au can be used free for as long as you need subject to some client load limits which we implemented to take any cost or time risk out of it when you’re evaluating us.

Wishing you success and practice happy.

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