Consumer Co-Design: 2023 ACHSM Conference Workshop Round-up

ACHS Improvement Academy Faculty Members, Director, Associate Professor Bernie Harrison and Faculty Member, Ms Shelley Thomson ran an insightful workshop on Consumer Co-design at the 2023 ACHSM Congress.

The ACHS Improvement Academy (IA) recently delivered a session on the value of consumer co-design at the 2023 Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) Asia-Pacific health leadership congress in Canberra. This session was led by Improvement Academy Director, Associate Professor Bernie Harrison and IA faculty member, Ms Shelly Thomson.  

The 90-minute, interactive workshop was attended by Fellows of ACHSM and demonstrated how to involve consumers in co-designing  healthcare services. As healthcare leaders strive to enhance the patient experience in the healthcare system, consumer co-design has become a highly discussed topic.  

What does co-design mean? 

Co-design is about combining lived experiences and professional expertise to make decisions to improve services.  

Co involves bringing together consumers, carers, families with multidisciplinary teams to assess and improve the delivery of a service.  

Design is about planning, designing, testing, delivering and evaluating services in partnership with each other. 

The goal of co-design is to create solutions that are more relevant and effective for consumers throughout their care pathways.


Patient journey mapping was discussed by Bernie and Shelly as a highly relevant co-design tool for understanding patients and their needs. A patient journey map is a visual representation of the emotions, goals, outcomes that matter, barriers and other aspects of a specific patient group as they experience the service being investigated. It captures interactions with organisations via various touchpoints and entails a story of the patient’s emotional “highs” and “lows” through their patient journey. Patient Journey Maps are used to identify current insights, unmet needs and opportunities to improve, as well as to envision the design of future experiences. 

Participants were very engaged, finding the workshop informative and the practical approach to consumer co-design very valuable.    

Thank you to those that attended the session, and it was a great pleasure for the ACHS Improvement Academy to connect with healthcare leaders at the conference.  

Interested in Partnering with Consumers education sessions? 

Healthcare professionals wanting to learn more about consumer co-design can look forward to the release of new Partnering with Consumers training sessions delivered by patient experience expert, Ms Shelly Thomson.  

New sessions for Introduction to Patient Journey Mapping Training in 2024 will be released soon, so stay tuned for upcoming dates on our website here.