Do you ever feel like health professional education and the health system are designed to take talented, intelligent, creative individuals and turn them into machines with no ability to innovate? Do you find yourself banging your head against a wall when even the smallest change for improvement requires hours of paperwork (that you probably submitted via fax), approval by numerous committees and months of waiting? Do you feel trapped in a health care silo? Do you feel ridiculous attending “multidisciplinary” meetings when the multiple disciplines are merely different specialties within your own profession?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, please keep reading. Last month, I attended NCDFREE Bootcamp, a global health advocacy workshop. Participants came from diverse disciplines – yes, there were health professionals, researchers and students – but there were also urban planners, film-makers, bankers, engineers, communications experts, and more. The speakers were equally diverse, leaders from fields such as branding, social enterprise, communications and public health. As well as lectures, we participated in “rapid prototyping” and breakout sessions in which small groups developed social media campaigns designed to increase the awareness of non-communicable diseases amongst millennials. You can watch a video of the NCDFREE Sydney Bootcamp here.
The event was inspiring, and left me hopeful that there is scope to innovate in health care and not be shackled by our silos and bureaucracies. I think we should be doing some “hack” or “bootcamp” type events like this in the palliative care space, to generate innovative ideas to create solutions and raise awareness of palliative care in the community.
Here are some links to get you inspired, highlighting some innovation in palliative care and related areas:
Death: Redesigned. A legendary design firm, a corporate executive, and a Buddhist-hospice director take on the end of life. This is stunning. (The California Sunday Magazine)
Dutch nursing home offers rent-free housing to students (PBS Newshour)
David Kerr: Dr Uber (The BMJ Blogs)
Here’s to the palliative care innovators.