One of the most exciting aspects of working in the healthcare and medical industry is that the technological advancement, research and innovation throughout the sector often produces exceptional products that positively impact society.
Joining the ranks of these innovative projects is a new patient empowered POD, developed by a research team with Ochre Health’s ACT Regional Medical Director, Dr Paresh Dawda, as the Chief Investigator. Ochre Health supported this project by providing our Bruce Clinic facilities in Canberra as a venue for testing the POD. This effective, user-friendly design could dramatically improve the quality of consultations between a GP and their patients. Here, we share the story of this POD and discuss why it could be a game-changer in the GP consultation process.
The perks of the POD
As most doctors and healthcare professionals can attest to, the lack of comprehensive databases and incomplete patient profiles are an obstacle to quality consultations. Time is of the essence, but the administrative tasks of collecting such valuable patient data tend to reduce the time invested in the meaningful work of improving patients health and overall wellbeing through an in-depth consultation.
The good news is that this new innovation resolves these issues through an elegant, inviting POD that can be placed inside clinics for patients to step into and input important data themselves in a user-friendly manner. Dr Dawda collaborated with a team of researchers and designers to create an aesthetically pleasing and inviting structure that is more in sync with how patients would behave as consumers.
The patient is also tasked with completing a quick “core” self-assessment about their alcohol intake, exercise regime, smoking behaviour or other lifestyle factors. Once the core review is complete, patients have an element of choice in either progressing to further reviews – such as on diabetes risk assessment or other health conditions – or saving those for their next visit.Drawing on his previous work experience and training in the UK, where he helped design and deliver patient improvement programmes for the NHS, Dr Dawda and the team have ensured the POD covers key areas of data collection by measuring the patient’s height and weight, feeding these into a report card.
“This ensures a longitudinal data collection. They can complete many of these in instalments, building up a comprehensive database of their own health for their GP to consult,” explains Dr Dawda.
“This data will also prove to be very useful for the researchers at the University of Canberra, who will analyse lifestyle and health trends from the data to identify which populations are most at risk. We can then use this data to take a more proactive approach to population health management, reaching out for example to those at high risk of chronic diseases to show them the areas of risk and develop strategies to minimise these with patients.”
As you can imagine, the wider-reaching social perks of this innovation are immense and can make a valuable impact for Australians. This POD system could be potentially revolutionary for the consultation process, demonstrating how Australian innovation is continuing to lead the way forward. After all, Australian innovators ranked top in the world on the 2015 Global Creativity Index, a study comparing 139 countries conducted by the Rotman School of Management and Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.
The progress of the POD
Perhaps in the future, these PODs can be rolled out to other clinics around the country or over the Tasman to bring the time, productivity and quality consultation benefits to doctors around Australia and New Zealand.
Supporting this project was a demonstration of Ochre Health’s values improving healthcare outcomes in our community. Dr Dawda noted such support was “critical and central to the whole idea and concept” of the POD.
“Without Ochre’s willingness, openness and desire to be involved and think outside the box, the project would not have gotten off the ground,” he concluded.