The Ochre Way
Our management framework
The Ochre Way describes on one page who we are, what we aspire to be, and how we behave as an organisation. It’s all about providing services to great doctors who are supported by great team members in delivering great clinical outcomes.
The Ochre Way begins with the three pillars of our purpose, our vision and our values. It recognises our key stakeholders, who all depend on each other: patients, the independent doctors who engage us and our people. It defines our commitments to each of these groups, which in turn drive our investments in systems, processes and people.
During tough times or times of huge success, when making decisions or simply doing our jobs, The Ochre Way shows us how best to respond.
Supporting doctors to improve the health of patients and communities
This is why we exist, and why we show up to work each day at Ochre. ‘Supporting doctors to improve the health of patients and communities’ means we provide services to quality GPs, and employ quality nurses, administration and support staff to care for patients. The independent doctors who practice in Ochre medical centres do not believe in ‘seven-minute medicine’, quick diagnoses and referrals, nor ‘churning and burning’ support team members or patients.
We are engaged by great doctors who want to practice in under-serviced communities and we support them to provide outcome-focused care to help improve the health of those communities. At Ochre, we track the progress of all of the medical practitioners we support in improving the health of their communities with an ongoing program of measuring, recording and reporting on patient health outcomes. This program, which is unique amongst our peers, operates across all of our medical centres and culminates each year in the presentation of excellence awards recognising the results achieved by practices, independent doctors and support team members.
When people think health, they choose Ochre
Most people have a choice of healthcare providers. If the independent doctors who engage Ochre are excellent practitioners and if they are supported by great nurses and support teams, they can offer excellent care to their patients. If that care is easy to access and we support doctors to ensure a good service delivery experience, then patients will keep coming back.
We want the Ochre Health name to be synonymous with great facilities and services to attract excellent doctors who can, in turn, provide exceptional treatment to their patients. As part of our service offering to independent doctors, we provide quality nurses and support team members who are skilled in customer service and who focus on delivering a positive patient experience for every doctor’s patient. Our aim is for all patient interactions with our systems, including medical records, recalls, reminders, bookings and billings, to be overwhelmingly positive.
By the same token, we aim for doctors to choose Ochre as an excellent service provider and for our nurses and support team members to choose Ochre as an outstanding ’employer of choice’ in our sector.
At Ochre, care means more than just supporting doctors in providing excellent clinical care to their patients.
We believe caring for patients means getting the entire patient experience right, from booking and finding the practice to checking in and waiting for their appointment. A great experience prior to seeing their doctor helps the patient to relax and the consultation to be more effective and productive. Patients get healthier when the whole patient experience is better.
We also care for each other. We support each other at work and, if appropriate, in our lives. If we know someone is unwell or stressed, we reach out. It might feel strange to ask a health professional ‘Are you okay?’ but, just as a builder’s house often needs work, many health professionals are not good at looking after themselves. They need and appreciate support as much as everybody else.
We also care for our communities by providing services, sponsorships and support to local groups and community leaders that don’t necessarily make us money.
The promise of care for all is our organisation’s beating heart. Doctors who practice in our medical centres and our support team members ultimately get a sense that our facility is the place they want to be and the place they want to stay.
At Ochre we operate ethically and ‘above board’. We are open, honest and fact-based in our decision-making. We operate with high ethical and professional standards, we are fair to people and we only provide services to independent doctors and employ team members who do the same.
The willingness to ask for help and listen to advice, and people having the courage to speak up when they can see a better way to do things, are critical for achieving excellent outcomes – both for our patients and for our business.
We operate our practices with integrity, we keep our promises and we strive to exceed each independent doctor’s expectations with the services we provide.
Ochre was born from innovation and ingenuity – our first challenge as a fledgling start-up was to find and support procedural doctors to cover the practice and hospital rosters in Bourke for two weeks over Christmas during a time of crisis. No one else had been able to do it and most people said it was impossible, but we found a way!
We operate in a flexible and adaptable way, which sometimes means we do things first or we do things a bit differently from our competitors.
We believe we were also the first private group in Australia engaged to support the roster of a public hospital, the first to link a medical centre to a hospital via a VPN, and the first to collate diabetes data (HbA1c) for an entire community.
Our origins in rural, disadvantaged communities taught us the positive impact of quality healthcare on entire populations and the importance of being community-minded and lending a hand to those in need.
In many of our current locations, the Ochre Medical Centre is fundamental to maintaining a vibrant, sustainable community.
Being community-minded goes beyond providing services to great independent doctors who provide exceptional care to their patients and improve health outcomes. To be truly community-minded means at times putting the community’s needs ahead of our own – spending money that won’t generate a commercial return, attending a function in a town when it doesn’t really suit us, or supporting initiatives that benefit the community even if they don’t directly benefit us.
We do not have a ‘command and control’ approach. Instead, we have team members who know their responsibilities and who are clear on the parameters in which they operate. We support them with the right systems and processes to allow them to ‘own’ issues, to solve problems, and to be accountable for outcomes.
Patients know and trust the medical practitioners we support to provide quality care, convenience, friendly service and value.
At Ochre, the care and service we provide to each doctor’s patient and the strong relationship they form with their doctor and our support team members, are at the centre of everything we do. Our aim is to give every patient a wonderful, friendly experience every time they come and see their doctor. The care and service we provide with their doctor must also represent value so that of they are charged an out-of-pocket expense by their doctor, they are happy to pay it and can see the value they’re receiving, both from their doctor and the quality of the Ochre practice.
We respect doctors’ autonomy, we are a leader in practice management and we foster an enjoyable place from which to work.
As part of our service offering, we provide doctors with the freedom to practice their skills as independent clinicians, surrounded and supported by quality infrastructure in a friendly, collaborative, collegiate and enjoyable environment. Unlike other corporate healthcare groups, we do not employ doctors nor lock them into fixed, long-term services contracts. We focus on providing them with market-leading support by investing heavily in developing our Practice Managers and their teams, as well as in best-of-breed systems and technology.
We empower, support and nurture our teams to make a difference
We invest in our team members – we develop their skills and experience, support them, and offer them opportunities to advance their careers. Our ethos is to collaborate, to continually improve and to try new things. We encourage feedback: we accept that mistakes will happen, and we treat them as learning opportunities. We love to celebrate success and we love to promote from within – Ochre is a company where talented people can advance their skills and their careers!
Clinical governance and operational excellence
These underpin The Ochre Way and encompass all of the systems and processes we have implemented to deliver on our stakeholder promises. They cover everything from bookings, billings, clinical guidelines and protocols, rostering, recruitment, retention, reporting and all the other elements that ensure we deliver the best support possible for doctors to allow them to provide their patients with the best possible care and to improve health outcomes.
We are a clinical business and we support evidence-based research, training and supervision. We focus strongly on clinical insights and how those insights differentiate us from our competitors. We also understand that technological innovation and practice management advance rapidly. We are constantly making investments and changes to our business in order to deliver real benefits to the independent doctors we support as well as to their patients.