Helping customers write business cases for putting patients in control

Writing a business case is one of the biggest barriers to adoption of innovation by clinicians. The Department of Health knows this is important because adoption is a much bigger barrier to patients getting innovative care than the actual creation of these innovations: health care is full of these innovations, it just takes a while to adopt these.

Early on, we realised that we had to help clinicians with writing business cases so that they can put patients in control. The first doctor who wanted to use Patients Know Best with his patients surprised me with the business case form he had with his manager. I soon realised that the costs of filling out the form would actually be greater than the amount of money we were making a business case for. Furthermore, as with all innovation, only after you try the innovation do have the numbers with which you make a business case for further adoption.

By contrast over the last 10 years in business outside of health care, IT innovation was spreading because employees could pay small fees from departmental budgets to try out new software. Once the software worked, departments would seek central funding.

We take pride in helping clinicians bring innovation to patients more quickly, which is why we pitch in with the writing of the business case. I remembered this today when I saw a neurology nurse’s email thread about the business case. In the morning she was despondent at the sheer length of the form for a Shine award. By the afternoon she was delighted after learning that one of our staff was already a SHINE award winner, and so would help with writing the grant.

Earlier in the week a diabetes consultant had received the hospital CEO’s endorsement of his PKB project. But even though the business case form was a formality, a matter of planning out and documenting what everyone wanted to happen, the consultant approached it with a heavy heart. We called the manager who had been assigned and pitched in with text and content that would help her fill it out.

With a renal consultant, I asked for an extra hour at the end of our meeting with the team. Together we sat down and filled in the form together. The teamwork was smooth as I already had so many previous cases to copy and paste from, and she could quickly give numbers for her speciality and her hospital. We even provided a carbon footprint reduction model from the switch to online consultations. All she had to do after that was to get the signature of two managers on her team.

We know that, after patients are in control of their records, everyone can see the benefits, and the awards follow. But we have to get clinicians over the initial hurdles and bureaucracy. If you want to put patients in control and need to start filling out the business case, drop us a line, we love to help.

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