Posted by: Tony Shannon | September 30, 2015

A paper, a proposal.. to share..

One of the most common things you notice as you look around at healthcare is the business of “reinventing the wheel”.


Whether you look at local efforts in a healthcare department, a hospital.. whether its a regional or national push.. what you see is many healthcare people trying to improve a process/service with a blend of technology . It’s happening all around the planet, yet many efforts are in isolation… building user interfaces, integrating healthcare systems, clinical data modelling etc etc… with little if any effective collaboration and/or reuse.

Now healthcare can be /should be explained as a good example of a complex adaptive system, so diversity is to be expected and indeed to be welcomed..yet when you’ve been in healthcare for 20 years you can’t help spotting the common patterns at play… and mindful of the real waste inherent in the current approach.

However there is no point just preaching at people, nor suggesting they get better educated in the clinical/management/technical world to gain a better understanding of 21st Century Healthcare to work as one. Of course more related education and a better understanding is needed across the globe to avoid such divided/siloed effort and foster good practice, yet what will make as much/more of a difference is to offer folk better tools.

Now by tools here I mean that in the broadest sense of the world.
Tool : definition: Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.

Hence the approach taken by the Ripple programme, in offering a suite of open tools that others can use/reuse towards health & care improvement in the 21st Century. Of those tools, its worth drawing your attention to one in particular this month, a paper, a proposal… an open source business case for health IT investment.

The thinking here is that as many folk are tackling health & care improvement projects around the planet, when that first spark of an idea wants to turn to reality, they will move to seek funding, resource and support for their effort. In the modern world of healthcare, to get much done, like it or not, a business case is often required.

We’ve taken the basic outline of a standard issue business case and applied some healthcare improvement thinking to it.. it’s up online as a draft health IT business case for review/comment/improvement/reuse. Within the business case template some key learning is distilled within, such as the recommendation to fund related development of an 21st Century healthcare  platform.

If such tools help folk progress their efforts towards health & care improvement with just a little less reinvention of the wheel then it will have fulfilled its purpose.. Please feel free to share..


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