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Sunday Reads and the Globalization of Healthcare?

I loved my healthcareitnews.com Sunday HIT Reads this week. It really drove home how EVERYONE around the world is trying to solve the same healthcare problems. And for the most part, despite differences in how healthcare might be funded, there’s a great degree of similarity in the conclusions those countries are coming to in how to start tackling the problems – maybe we are moving forward towards the globalization of healthcare.


Last week was UK e-Health week. HIMSS TV was on hand to record some great short interview segments. The first in my Sunday Read was on how the NHS is transforming to meet new demands.

And how are they transforming? Integrated health systems that focus on the patient’s health journey – not an institutions health record. Hmmm.. Sounds much like what ACO’s are trying to accomplish here in the US..



From the UK we went to Japan and how Health 2.0 in Japan is tackling an aging population problem by aiming to keep patients in their own home creating a need to integrate hospitals, nursing homes, the patients home and family.

Sound familiar? Maybe they should talk to Mercy



And the final trip was off to Denmark where Odense University Hospital in Denmark are in the process of building a hospital with 30% less bed capacity – in line with Denmark’s program to reduce the number of beds and indeed hospitals in the country (From 160 hospitals to 40 in the last 15 – 20 years) in order to increase the quality of care.

The key? Establishing a well supported clinical base between primary care and secondary care so that patients can be better cared for by home care, GP’s etc. supporting the whole care continuum with an aim to keep patient’s out of the hospital. Claus Duedal Pederson, CIO at the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology Odense University Medical Hospital went on to explain how re-imbursement, although in a single payer market, gets shared across the teams providing services for the patient care with the hospital. Solutions that save money for the hospital, the money gained stays in the hospital to invest in better services. Sounds exactly like the Value Based Care initiative!


Not Invented Here

Now I’m not trying to say that everything that’s been discussed above is being done here in the US first. What I am trying to say is that regardless of how healthcare is funded, the initiatives, ideas and best practices that I see as I talk with customers and partners around the world are all trying to solve the same problem. And we need to put the mental barrier of funding absolutely to one side and focus on the similarities and solutions. Even the American host in the Denmark interview started to go down the path of the downside of a single payer market – which got nicely rebuked by highlighting how similar the solution is that they are following and how ultimately they are trying to deliver better care for less.

I have to say, I was a little surprised by how surprised the interviewer about reducing bed count. That’s nothing new in here in the US with organizations like Metro Health building bedless hospitals.


The Sunday Read, combined with Pam Takaham’s post on how the consumer experience is driving choice across all industries makes me hope that Healthcare can look more broadly and more collaboratively to take the best ideas, whether they’re funded differently or originally designed for a different purpose (is there anything healthcare clinics can learn from retail for example?) and apply them quickly to deliver better outcomes for all of us.

Congrats to HIMSS and e-Health event for pulling together some great content.


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