Consumers and carers

Choose Wisely Choose Co-Design

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) recognises that for many people hospital is just one part of their healthcare journey, so helping consumers ask questions about their care and promoting broader collaboration with consumers is vital.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) recognises that for many people hospital is just one part of their healthcare journey, so helping consumers ask questions about their care and promoting broader collaboration with consumers is vital. SCHHS established a Choosing Wisely Faculty in January 2019 with consumers, clinicians, their Primary Health Network partner, clinical schools and other key support organisations for the Sunshine Coast. A number of senior executives, including the Chief Executive, who is an enthusiastic Faculty member, proactively participated in the development and implementation of initiatives which ensure that all levels of the organisation are Choosing Wisely.

Consumer representation is central to SCHHS’s approach and it was thrilled five consumer representatives joined the Faculty from the kick-off meeting. As a regular consumer of health services since his early twenties, consumer representative Matty Hempstalk chose to participate to help educate other patients. He said: “They can take control of their own health and be part of the decision-making, not just take what the nurse or the doctor says needs to happen.”

Choosing Wisely Faculty Chair, Dr Morne Terblanche is excited by how consumers  have helped shape the Sunshine Coast program.

“Our consumers have been a vital part of our Choosing Wisely team.” Dr Terblanche said. “Their perspectives challenge our thinking as clinicians. Our consumers highlight the importance of getting the messaging right, inform our marketing material development, and identify areas for focus. The consumer voice has also been central in specific projects.”

Shared decision-making is a national healthcare priority, clearly articulated in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. In recognition of this and in response to an organisation-wide patient experience survey, the Shared Decision-Making in the Emergency Department project was born. A co-design approach to improvement was chosen, with consumers at the forefront
of driving this initiative.

The project team adopted and worked through elements of the Health Service Co-Design methodology developed by its New Zealand colleagues at the Auckland District Health Board, to identify improvement opportunities. This included an extensive tour of Sunshine Coast.

Emergency Departments, visioning and goal setting, idea development and touch-point analysis. Through this process, the team was able to filter 29 ideas across the patient journey into the following four key consumer-focused sub-projects:

  • Alternatives to Emergency Department
  • Understanding Emergency Department processes
  • Communication about options
  • Discharge and after

Through the co-design approach, the team discovered that what it had assumed were the key issues weren’t necessarily what consumers expected. These projects are continuing to develop, supported by consumer representatives and the project team is looking to roll out the methodology with other services.

5 Questions

5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.

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