Human experience is at the heart of healthcare. This nuance is never forgotten by the professionals that deliver care to patients with such kindness and skill. The year of Covid-19 has made this all the more important – it has created mass awareness of human suffering, its impact has touched most families, and it has put healthcare firmly at the centre of human consciousness. It has also re-sharpened the focus on the quest for healthcare to be faster, smarter and more resilient. This quest will ultimately improve the patient experience and enhance health outcomes.
What has been most striking is the strength to be found in teamwork and partnerships. Where there were existing collaborations, these have been reinforced and the appetite for results is bigger than before. It is said that there is nothing like a crisis to make a team, and this seems to be true.
Even before coronavirus, healthcare faced significant challenges. Ageing populations, rising chronic disease levels, and challenging budgetary constraints led many to innovate over the long-term to better manage the increasing demand for healthcare services. The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing many healthcare systems to the limit, the effect of which will likely impact both patients and the global health system for years and decades to come. Mitigating these effects will require further innovation and transformation as healthcare leaders seek to build resilience and flexibility into the health ecosystem.
We aim to work collaboratively with hospital leaders and clinicians who are at the centre of this transformation effort. We are not just innovators in healthcare technology and digital, but facilitators to bring about positive change that impacts peoples’ lives. Partnerships are driven principally by the need to achieve results that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Pursuing the quest is much better in partnerships which share outcomes – and, in healthcare, this means improving lives in moments that matter.
Medical technology solutions are finely tuned to accelerate patient flow, and to aid clinical and operational outcomes. But, health systems are always complicated and interlinked, and the whole has to be tuned to be able to accept and adapt to change in any one of its components. Kirchberg Hospital, part of the Robert Schuman Hospital Foundation in Luxembourg, is a great practical example, working in collaboration with GE Healthcare’s digital experts on an MR Excellence Program. It combines machine-based data intelligence such as data analytics with human expertise in lean and change acceleration process tools to unlock clinical value and operational efficiency in its radiology department. The project illustrates how digital transformation is not just about numbers, but also about people partnerships and patient care: helping staff in departments to interpret the data and change outdated ways of working to empower practical improvements.
Translating healthcare technology efficiency gains into moments that matter to patients and their families is what is really important. Simply put, if technology in combination with changes in working practices allows three more families to receive a cancer all-clear result earlier, or a diagnosis leading to quicker treatment planning, then we are delivering a great outcome and making a real difference. It is never about technology alone.
Success in health transformation is not achieved with solo efforts, but through collaboration and understanding powered by partnerships. Improving efficiency and accuracy of care alongside optimising hospital capacities and personalising patient treatments will undoubtedly improve clinical outcomes.
There are many opportunities for healthcare on the horizon today, despite the continuing pandemic emergency. Challenges abound, not just from the pandemic, but wider social, economic and demographic based health obstacles. By embracing close partnerships and uniting forward thinkers, together we can plot the route to successful technology enabled healthcare innovation that puts patients, carers and healthcare professionals at the core of the transformational effort. We call this a value-based partnership in healthcare, or simply, humanity at the heart of health.
To learn more about value based partnership and the need for a person-centred approach in technology-enabled healthcare innovation, click here.