Finding the Problem is the Real Problem!

With two weeks of extensive clinical immersion we now have bucket full of observations; about 300 of them spanning from OPD to emergency to surgery.

Dr Jha
Well, 300 is good number of observations. We have a lot of data with us now. But if you look closely at the observations we have, many of these are opinions, judgements and some are just passive statements with no inherent problem or need in them. I want you to analyse your observations and only keep the ones which you feel like solving.

Trust your instincts!

One way to do this is to classify the findings into - systemic observations and clinical observations. System level observations tend to be either too specific (like problems unique to a site or location) or too big to solve (like socio-economic problem) which are beyond our capacity. Learn to eliminate the excess data or you will be too overwhelmed.
After a few days of discussions and eliminating observations.

Dr Jha, We have managed to remove many observations from the list and are left with less that a hundred. We can even think of some possible solutions to these. Shall we start working on these problems now?

Dr Jha
Mind you, these are not problems yet. The items on your list are just observations or opinions. Now dig deeper into these and try to uncover the associated problems. An observation may have two, three or even five problems associated which might lead to many different solutions. But do not try to guess a problem.

A problem should be backed by facts and hard evidence from research and journal papers. Don't trust wikipedia or news articles as they often express opinions as facts. Once done, these problems will be your starting points of your journey towards finding unmet needs!

We then started asking the 5 Ws- Why, What, Where, When, Who to break down the observations and note the problems.

Each problem was the researched on for documented occurrences in different contexts. Referring to the pathophysiology of the underlying medical condition was another piece of information which was used to break down and understand the real problem.

....from the notebook of Aniket Kulkarni