Vic Management Interns' blog

Blog posts by Management Interns of the ACHSM based in the State of Victoria.


ACHSM Admin
ACHSM Admin

HMIP Victoria Management Interns

Transitioning - A move from the world of supply chain management to health policy administration

By Funmi Lamidi

1st Year Management Intern

I commenced the Health Management Internship Program (HMIP) in January 2020 and had my first placement in the Genomics and Health Technology (GHT) unit of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Before commencing the program, I worked as a Pharmacist and a project officer, strengthening health systems and supply chains of public health programs. These programs were targeted at reducing mortality and morbidity rates of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and malaria in developing countries.

Fig. 1: A framework for evaluating supply chain performance in the public healthcare sector (Lega, Marsilio, & Villa (2013).

Supply chain management is a field where acronyms such as LHDs (Long Haul Deliveries), LMDs (Last Mile Deliveries), MSSVs (Monitoring, Supportive and Supervisory Visits) and CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) measures, amongst others, were often used. Other common terms include procurement, supplier relationship management, capacity building of healthcare workforce, quality and safety, technological investment, budget allocations, warehousing, inventory management, lead time and stock checks. I moved into the world of genomics and the boardroom, and switched to words such as genetics, DNA sequencing, co-design, stakeholder management, change management and policy development.

Fig. 2: The public health genomics wheel (Lal, Morré, & Brand, 2014).

The Genomics and Health Technology unit manages the relationship between the Department and the public genetic clinics in Victoria. The unit is responsible for developing and implementing a state-wide genetic and genomic services plan; managing a genomic health clinical network and undertaking community consultations to address key ethical and legal issues associated with integrating genomics into routine healthcare (DHHS, 2017). The Unit is also responsible for the implementation of new technology in healthcare such as low-volume high-cost therapies, for example, CAR T-cell therapy for blood cancers. 

I coordinated the implementation of the genetics patient management system requirements project. In this role, I participated in stakeholder consultation processes, was responsible for the development of the genomics and health technology dataset requirements to inform the consultation process and the coordination of the project control group meetings. This involved visiting health services which gave me great insight into service planning, effective information management and the concept of co-design. I was also exposed to some of the challenges in the health system and how they affect service delivery. Another component of my role was data management and demand analysis to inform future decisions relating to funding and service growth.

As the genomics field is a rapidly evolving one which I was unfamiliar with, I had to acknowledge the fact that I had a lot of things to learn. My first placement was a great learning curve for me, where I learnt that it is okay to have gaps in knowledge but commit to rapid learning, to achieve excellent results. It was quite fascinating being on the other end of the table: where policies were made, understanding the processes involved in policy making, the effect of the socio-political environment on the health system and vice versa. The intricacies in governance and change management that precedes implementation of new policies or organisational change was quite fascinating. This has been quite helpful in bridging the gap between my experiences as a healthcare staff working at the coalface and policy administration.

Being an ACHSM intern has been a great experience, giving me the opportunity to develop my professional network. It has helped to hone my project management skills, highlighting the importance of project co-design with key stakeholders to ensure an easier change management process during and after project implementation. I have also gained a lot of experience in effective stakeholder management as well as using data to make evidence-based decisions in service planning. Professional development sessions held within the Department, as well as those hosted by the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM), have been quite useful in the development of skills essential for a successful career in health management.

References

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (2017). Victoria State Government. Genetic and genomic healthcare for Victoria 2021. Pg 3. Retrieved from https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/our-strategy

Lal, J. A., Morré, S. A., & Brand, A. (2014). The overarching framework of translation and integration into healthcare: a case for the LAL model. Personalized medicine11(1), 41-62.

Lega, F., Marsilio, M., & Villa, S. (2013). An evaluation framework for measuring supply chain performance in the public healthcare sector: evidence from the Italian NHS. Production Planning & Control24(10-11), 931-947.



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