“What’s the matter with you?” to “What matters to you?”: The patient-led innovation revolution.

Quote above attributed to: Kate Mulligan presenter at #shiftinggearssummit.

As I sit back and reflect on the past few days spent listening to a wide range of presentations at the Consumer Health Forum, Shifting Gears, I am wondering what this might mean for Allied Health Practitioners? I also wonder what happens if we do not begin to move out of our individual professional “bubbles” and start exploring what is happening in the broader world, in which we operate? There is much to be said about this, however, let us start with the consumers, our patients. The people that our businesses serve.

The health consumers presenting at the summit posed a number of challenges to the status quo. I am wondering how prepared we are to be part of this revolution? At face value, we are very well placed to empower and help lead our patients, to help them to be able to do what matters to them. We have the time to build relationships and possess the skills that will help to guide our patients to meet their goals. The question is whether our professions fully understand our individual roles in empowering patients. I feel that many of us are still listening to the symptoms and doing “to” the patient. We have historically been taught to be “fixers”. There has been a growing movement towards bringing the patient into the centre of their care. I am not sure that we are even there yet but are now being asked to move from doing things to the patient, to for the patient, and now to doing things with the patient. The patient is a full “actor” in their own health care. This will be challenging for some of us?

Slides taken from presentation: Keynote: Why it is time to re-imagine health and social care; Vincent Dumez; Pt partner Co-director TWT.

Vincent Dumez told us that the change is already happening and many of you will be aware of this in your clinical practice. Our patients are often coming to us with information that they have accessed from the internet about their problem, treatment options, and even diagnoses. “There is an explosion of patient knowledge”. Vincent Dumez, tells us that we should see Digital Health as an opportunity and not as a threat. “The sacred power of diagnosis now lies in the literal hands of the everyman”. There are opportunities for us to learn about the experience and understandings of our patients and to help them to fill the gaps with the up-to-date, evidence-based knowledge that we have as allied health professionals.

We can be at the forefront of being a partner in this health consumer-led revolution. We can contribute and improve the capacity of the population to care for themselves. I believe that it is important to realise the opportunities that we have as leaders in health care to contribute to this honourable pursuit.

Will you be part of building a partnership in care? Exciting times ahead!

You can read more about the summit on croakey:


Dianna Howell Certmgr MIML MAPA

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