Northern Health is in Victoria, Australia, located in one of the fastest growing areas of Australia. Northern Health’s primary catchment exceeds half a million residents and is expected to grow by 64% in the next decade. Our population suffer above average chronic disease, have a higher rate of smoking, drug use and domestic violence.
My vision is to lead a revolution to improve patient care at Northern Health. This change is driven by my passion to ensure patients are at the centre of decisions and processes that affect their health and wellbeing.
To drive organisational reform we have embarked on a campaign that engages the hearts and minds of our staff to achieve our vision of outstanding healthcare for our community. After meeting Connie who related to me her father’s story of poor care at Northern Health, I asked my staff ‘would you recommend your friends and family be treated at Northern Health?’.
The answer to this simple question led to me launching an organisational goal that ‘by July 2015, more staff at Northern Health will recommend their friends and family be treated at Northern Health then at any other health service in Victoria.’
We began a process of end-to-end redesign based on Lean thinking. In June 2014 we established a partnership with Toyota to accelerate our change journey. Through this journey we have undertaken major projects in our Emergency Department, Women’s and Children’s and Medicine programs. In addition we revitalised Northern Health’s Patient Experience directorate to ensure that our transformational journey was co-designed with our patients.
When speaking with our staff they feel the Executive is on the right path and has the right vision. Staff satisfaction in maternity clinics has increased from 30% to 85% and they now feel more confident about recommending their friends and family to be treated at Northern Health. Our patients and their families have also expressed their satisfaction with maternity clinic waiting times, moving from 95mins to 32mins; our ambulance bypass has decreased and ambulance off load times have improved. Our Emergency Department have transformed from a chaotic, stressful environment to a quieter more controlled space where staff feel valued and patients receive better care.
Throughout this journey I have adopted the methodologies of Chip and Dan Heath, Authors of Switch, when change is hard. Their ideas have given our organisation a positive focus on change, where change can been seen as progressive and empowering for all involved.
Northern Health embraced Change Day Australia in 2014 and will host Change Day functions for its 4,000 plus staff this year, to sell a positive message for change.