Why aged care needs co-design.

BLOG: What does co-design in aged care look like in practice, and what role does it play in helping providers build sustainable businesses?…

Janine  •  Wednesday April 5, 2017
Health & Ageing  •  Research

Co-design in aged care is a bit like Consumer Directed Care. We’ve been hearing about it for a long time, but what does it look like in practice, and what role does it play in creating better opportunities for older people and helping providers build sustainable businesses?

As we continue to move towards the Aged Care Roadmap destination of a single sustainable aged care support system, which is market based and consumer driven, governments and providers are increasingly focused on consumer needs and preferences. Governments are also increasingly embedding co-design in strategy and practice. In fact, Minister for Aged Care the Hon. Ken Wyatt recently cemented his commitment to co-design during his opening speech at the Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia National Conference:

“Anyone who knows me, understands that I am a strong believer in consultation, co-design and listening to the views of the people who have their feet on the ground in aged care.

“The government doesn’t own the aged care system. It’s something we will build together as we take into consideration the views and experiences of consumers, providers, health professionals and other stakeholders.”
– Minister for Aged Care, Hon Ken Wyatt

Although the use of co-design in Australian aged care is still in its infancy, the findings of the pilot stage of the recent Step Forward Together project (funded by the Department of Health and delivered by Community West and COTA’s Home Care Today) shows us that when principles are incorporated into service design, better outcomes result for all.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the use of co-design techniques can also assist providers in building services around customer need to drive revenue growth, by increasing innovation and efficiency of services and improving customer experience.

“Greater levels of communication and engagement enable the organisation to better understand the predicament facing clients and tailor a solution to meet their needs.

“If we introduce the notions and practice of co-creation and co-design in aged care we can go even further. And, in the process, differentiate services and organisations while developing services that are likely to succeed on market entry and into the future. That means certainty over revenue and growth.”

– Rhod Ellis-Jones

If you want to find out more about co-design techniques, and learn how these can be applied in aged care, attend our upcoming co-design in aged care event. You can also read more about the fundamental principles of co-design here.

Unable to attend the event? Talk to us about how co-design can benefit your organisation.