Jane Power: It takes courage to solve the biggest customer problems

Bupa's Marketing Director Jane Power writes about Bupa's role to innovate and help transform Australia's healthcare system

Bupa as a large Australian health and care organisation has a big role to play in the expected transformation of our national healthcare system, writes Bupa's Marketing Director Jane Power.

Today we have responsibility for more than 4 million health insurance customers, more than 7000 aged care residents and more than 1 million people who receive care through our network of 230 Bupa-owned dental clinics, 37 optical stores and expanding audiology and GP services.

We know that many of our customers are relying on us to find ways to help reduce the cost and improve the quality of healthcare across the country. It’s an innovation challenge that we accept and it drives us every day.

Customers are quite clear. They expect us to be working with GPs and specialists to ensure transparency of information to enable patients to make more informed decisions about their insurances treatment and methods of prevention.

And while we know that the benefits for the community rest in strengthening innovation between health companies such as Bupa, government, care providers and patients, we need to do everything we can to foster our own culture of innovation.

At the heart of that is our purpose of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. It’s what motivates our 20,000 people and is inspiring them to develop new ways to care for our customers.

It’s what led to innovation examples such as our Person First approach to Aged Care and our soon to open Bupa Therapy centre that’s using human centred design to meet customers’ needs in disability care. It’s been achieved through people moving from a “wish we could” mindset to one that asks, “so how do I get it done?”

As a Bupa leadership team, we’re constantly asking ourselves: “how are we giving our people time to think and the power to act?” Can we channel the approach of companies like Netflix who have been nimble enough to harness changing technologies to quickly adapt and meet consumer needs.

Are we trimming old, unnecessary processes to let our people do the best job possible and respond quickly to our customers’ needs and wants?

What we do know is that ingraining innovation into an organisation starts at the top through trust in our people, fostering collaboration, accountability, and also being prepared to fail.

Innovation can seem like a huge transformational undertaking for big organisations, but it needn’t be scary. It’s been said that it takes roughly six months for a culture to permeate a person’s way of working, but these collaborative behaviours and mindsets are what leads to more innovative and efficient processes.

From our perspective, nurturing innovation in our business is key to building a better healthcare system and ultimately improving quality of life for all Australians.

Visit and connect with Jane on Linkedin here

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