The Western Sydney Integrated Health Directorate within the Western Sydney Local Health District is one of three NSW Health Integrated Care Demonstrator Projects tasked with delivering a new scalable, transferable model of integrated health care under NSW Integrated Care Strategy funding.
In late 2015 after some highly targeted research WSLHD engaged Visual design professionals from Zest Events International to assist with the development of a collective vision for and a shared understanding of this new model.They chose to use visual tools for their ‘shared reality’ workshops because of the complexity of the change and the diversity of the stakeholders involved.
This ambitious healthcare change program is being undertaken quite simply because health care in its current form has become unsustainable.
There is also a significant focus on ‘getting things right’ for the Consumer and improving the patient journey and experience of healthcare.
The notion of creating this shared visual concept designed in real-time during the Forum was drawn from a similar exercise undertaken in an Integrated Care program of works in Canterbury (New Zealand).
Experiencing similar challenges they applied visual communication tools very successfully to also achieve a shared understanding of what integrated care meant to their stakeholders (consumers, primary health care providers, hospital clinicians, community-based services and organisations), develop a common language to articulate care integration and rapidly communicate complex concepts and new ideas that would translate over time into practice.
The graphic concept of the vision developed for integrated care in Western Sydney also communicates a strong visual depiction and provided an opportunity to assist in supporting consumers and communities to focus on “what does care integration mean for me?” amongst a population where literacy and health literacy can be challenging.
Armed with the insights from Integrated Care Canterbury (New Zealand), the Western Sydney Integrated Health Directorate sought out leading local exponents of visual communications for business change and identified Zest as an ideal partner. After an initial meeting to scope the needs, Zest visual scribe Anton Pulvirenti attended the ‘Shared Reality’ workshop in late 2015 and created a comprehensive visual concept which described the key conversations and messages arising from the Forum discussions. The visual concept continued its development beyond this Forum and was refined with the Visual Scribe during subsequent meetings.
About the complexity
The complexity of a ‘shared reality’ is demonstrated by the range of organisational, behavioural and attitudinal change envisioned including:
- Increasing health literacy and levels of self-management in the community;
- Development of new capabilities in General Practitioners and other primary care providers;
- Providing incentives for outcomes / improved patient experience in future funding models;
- Influencing policy at state and federal level so that the architecture and economics at these levels will support the model required for successful care integration; and
- Clinician collaboration and shared responsibility for outcomes with other services.
The wall-sized Visual concept ‘mural’ created from the forum has been since distilled down to an A3 document which is now being used as a visual tool to socialise and ‘set the scene’ for the integrated health vision throughout the Western Sydney health network including work with consumers. Due to the success of the visual concept as a communication tool, opportunities are being actively considered to extend the reach of this ‘shared reality’ via targeted communications which will include the use of the visual concept on the Western Sydney website, in selected print media, social media and a consideration around the value of its use (in mural size) in the foyers of the four hospitals that make up the WSLHD – to demonstrate by way of a visual medium, how Western Sydney envisages the changing health care business brought about by the need for improved integration.
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