Exploring new frontiers in healthcare innovation – #APACForum


Exploring new frontiers via Unsplash

As you may have guessed from my tweets the past couple of weeks, I am heading over to Sydney, Australia, next weekend to attend the APAC Forum 2016 (from September 12-14). I’m very excited to be attending this healthcare transformation & innovation conference, organized and hosted by Ko Awatea (my workplace) from Counties Manukau DHB.

It should be a fascinating conference, bringing together many world leaders in health transformation and innovation into one place to share, create, and remix ideas to offer better healthcare to all our patients. Part of my daily work is to help support the Allied Health professionals and project teams, so I’ve worked with a number of teams who are running health innovation projects, and using improvement methodology tools like PDSAs. I’m really looking forward to learning more about different methodologies, tools, case studies, and what other folk are doing around the world!

Below is a bit of a teaser tweet of what I’m looking forward to at #APACForum this year 🙂

I’m also looking forward to meeting lots of new people, and deepening existing relationships as well. I hope to blog again after the conference to share some of my key learnings from these three days. You can follow what’s going on at the conference by searching the #APACforum hashtag – if you are passionate about healthcare innovation & improvement, you can also sign up to support the Thunderclap!

A Thunderclap is like an online flash mob – sign up to show your support (using Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr), and an auto message will be posted at a prearranged time, along with everyone else’s messages who are supporting this campaign. 


10 things that energize me at work

blog post energize.jpg

Image by Aleks Dorohovich available from Unsplash

As a few others on #BlogJune have done, I’m going to blog today about the top 10 things that energize me at work. Thank you to Ruth Baxter & Katie Davis for your inspiration 🙂 So here’s 10 things that energize me at work (in no particular order):

  1. Coffee breaks with friends – there’s something about the combination of a warm moccachino (yes, I know they’re not real coffees, but they are still my drink of choice :D) and chatting with friends at work (either about work stuff or other stuff entirely) that just helps reenergize me and get some other ideas flowing
  2. Using pen on paper to write lists or to get my thoughts together. I find that working on a computer all day does not always help me to think creatively (and my eyes get sore – worn glasses since I was 4 :D). So having a wee break from the computer and going to pen and paper helps stoke the fires of creativity and envisage things in a new way.
  3. Closely related to number 2 – use pens, colour and paper to mind map (and not just write things in a list format). You can see one of my mind maps below:
    Mind map of professional development ideas rotated
  4. A change in routine – attending a workshop or talk, going to see a poster display, just mixing up my computer work with talking to people and getting fresh ideas. One thing that is really great about working in Ko Awatea is that we have many professional development opportunities or can sit in on workshops or seminars (like the design thinking workshop I attended the other week).
  5. Deadlines or being under pressure. Much like Katie noted, I am motivated by deadlines – I love starting new projects and rotating between things, but I’m not always the best (or motivated at) following through on things, so deadlines help me focus and be productive and complete things.
  6. Interacting with people – I really enjoy one-on-one tutorials or helping folk, and being able to interact with their problem/challenge and help solve it together. Helping other people does make me feel good, and I enjoy the challenge of working on something together and both learning more out of it. Often I have an ah-ha moment as I understand something about the topic together, or I have to figure out how to answer a question that I might not have thought about before.
  7. Sharing things & reading things on Twitter. Just having a wee break in my day to see what’s happening on Twitter, to exchange a thought or interesting article, and be inspired by what other people are thinking about and working on.
  8. Taking a short walk – I have been trying to build more exercise into my routine this year (particularly as my position is rather sedentary). I find taking a brief walk outside in the fresh air really helps to reenergize me (as sitting down for hours tends to make me feel a little sluggish).
  9. Music. As Katie said, often she’ll have a concert party in her car on the way to work. I find listening to music can help me focus on getting routine tasks done, and can sometimes calm down the ‘imposter thoughts’ that others have mentioned – “Am I really doing this right? Is this the best possible work I could be doing?”
  10. Talking with colleagues about ideas – often we’ll come up with some interesting ideas/problems/challenges at our weekly staff meetings which can help start some interesting ideas & collaborations.

So that’s what energizes me at work! What energizes you at work?

“Creativity is not a talent – it’s a way of operating” #BlogJune

Looking back over my #BlogJune posts so far, they seem to be mainly about inspiration and creativity (along with some things that make me laugh!). I was quite keen to blog more about my new(ish) job and what I’ve been doing professionally, but I’m so involved with work stuff at the moment, it’s hard for me to step back and blog about it. We’re getting down to the pedantic details of going over our APA handout(s) again – do we need a comma there? Shouldn’t the title of the website be in italics? Is this in the APA Manaual? Is this even *clear* in the APA Manual? Man, I hate this thing!  Stuff like that…

This work is combined with a working group across no less than 3 departments (which sometimes impacts on at least 5 departments) that are combining our academic learning resources and putting them in an accessible place for students online. Necessarily, this involves numerous meetings (24 hours – count them! – last week) and emails threads.

This is also combined with the exciting task of  writing a collection policy for our Research Archive, developing user documentation and FAQs for the aforementioned Research Archive, and creating more online resources.

Accordingly, I guess I’m leaning more towards the creative stuff at the moment to balance out all the other things; hopefully when the pendulum swings the other way (as it’s bound to do at some point), I can explore some more work stuff on this blog.  Or I’ll stop making excuses and just blog about it 😛

Anyway – here’s John Cleese on the five things necessary for creativity – completely agree 😀

Also check out the Brain Pickings post on the topic – pure genius 😀 If you’re ever looking for more creative or interesting things in your life, you can’t go past Brain Pickings  – it is a serendipitous source of interesting bits and pieces that will make you think & laugh.