Zwolle – Coincidence or not, but the day the National Health Care Institute launched a campaign on #care this morning, research firm Gupta Strategists also released a report on tomorrow’s healthcare. The content has a positive tone, because according to the researchers, the shortage of health professionals can be solved by making smart use of technology that already exists. Isala is a good example of this.
Lieke Poot, clinical physicist at Isala, RVE chairman of Healthcare Technology / CMIO and chairman of the Dutch Association of Clinical Physics, was present when Minister Kuipers was presented with the report ‘Out of the Scarcity’.
“I think the good thing about Gupta’s research is that they are based on existing medical and digital technology,” Lieke begins. “You can come up with all sorts of applications that will definitely come in the future, but it is still a lot of work. We already use a lot of technology and innovations in Isala. Until now, the purpose has primarily been to improve care for patients or to move nursing homes. But if you use the technology well, it also makes a difference in the support for the employees. Not insignificant in a time of scarcity in the labor market. ”
Prevention of care
The Gupta report cites a number of examples. For example, using technology to prevent care. “Take, for example, the COPD app, which our pulmonary medicine department has used successfully for a number of years,” says Lieke. “When patients use it well, you as a healthcare provider see more quickly that it gets worse.”
“As a healthcare provider, you see it getting worse faster.” Lieke Poot, RVE Chair of Health Technology
“Then you can intervene in time and often an admission can be prevented. It saves the effort for healthcare professionals, who can then spend their time on other patients. ‘
Smart blood pressure monitors
Technology can also make work easier. Lieke: “Think of the elevators, or robots that collect or pack things. But also think of the smart blood pressure monitors in the nursing wards. They automatically register the blood pressure in the patient file, saving overwriting. At Isala Meppel, we only work with these blood pressure monitors. I regularly consult with Isala’s CNIO Frida van der Klippe about such applications in nursing. ”
‘Technology’ AI can make work more efficient. Lieke: “If AI can help determine which treatment is best for a patient with e.g. melanoma, it will save time. In Isala, we have also developed an AI program to determine the bone age of children who have had a hand x-ray taken. It works, and radiologists can use it in a research environment. “
Finally, by using technology wisely, you can make work more comfortable for employees. Lieke: “Take the tracker that we have to put in Isala on wheelchairs, beds and other things that are regularly lost. With the tracker, you can find them in no time, which saves a lot of phone calls, search work and frustration from nurses and other nursing staff. ”
So the staff shortage in health care is solved in no time? “It’s too easy to say,” Lieke replies. “The report also shows that healthcare institutions are struggling to implement technology. You then have to change things, and if the work pressure is already very high, you reach for the familiar. So try to hire more people. ” Gupta also saw that hospitals are still competing too much with each other.
“If a hospital has developed a new innovative technology, they are not always inclined to share it with other hospitals. Although of course it is better, and we do e.g. within the m-Prove hospitals. In addition, we encounter laws and regulations. For example, the law on medical devices. This means that we must not share certain innovations with other hospitals and can only use them as scientific research in Isala. ”
When it comes to the use of innovation and technology in healthcare, Isala is an absolute frontrunner, says Lieke. ‘But it can be more streamlined. I also think VWS should take more position. In the past, technology and innovation were something for Economics. It was quickly moved there. Now that Ernst Kuipers, who was originally a specialist, is now a minister, things are going better. Technology and innovation also belong in the healthcare system. ”
“Technology and innovation also belong in healthcare.” Lieke Poot, RVE Chair of Health Technology
“Not only to make healthcare better, but also to help employees in their work.”