This paper describes a case study involving third-year undergraduate computing students and their conduct of a patient journey modeling project for the Ambulatory Care department of a Regional Hospital in New South Wales, Australia. The goal of the research was to determine if students, given minimal training in an emerging patient journey modeling tool known as Essomenic, could be an effective vehicle for the diffusion of innovation to operational staff involved in a healthcare improvement project. Under academic supervision, students interacted directly with staff to develop models of the current system of care from GP referral to the completion of the patient consultation. The methodology also included model validation, identification of opportunities for improvement, investigation of alternative solutions and solution recommendations. Outcomes of the project, conducted over a 14 week semester, demonstrate that the students found the technique quick and easy to learn and that they could transfer their new found knowledge of this innovation to healthcare staff for the purposes of developing true and accurate representations of the current state patient journey. Staff were then able to interact directly with the student team, using the models as a communication medium, to identify opportunities for improvement and understand more deeply, how changes would impact their daily tasks and increase patient satisfaction in service delivery.
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