Asked to picture healthcare in the twenty-first century, readers might imagine scientists applying the latest breakthrough in biotechnology as a radical cure for disease. But equally, they might also think of lengthy waiting lists, shabby wards and lumberingly bureaucratic administrative systems. This dichotomy is one of the biggest problems confronting policymakers and managers when they look at today’s health sector. Advances in medical science and technology have not been matched by innovation in healthcare management and processes. It is a failure that costs taxpayers and patients dearly.
The problem is not a lack of ideas, as cutting-edge medical research continues apace. Nor is it unwillingness to put money into healthcare, which consumes vast budgets. Rather, the difficulties lie in the diverse obstacles to new ideas finding their way into widespread and transformative change. But new approaches exist which demonstrate how healthcare systems could be improved.