Conclusion of the GCCCF conference 2019: Health and social care systems can master challenges only through better communication and collaboration
Safeguarding access, ensuring quality, and enabling economic viability – the Global Clinical + Care Coordination Forum (GCCCF) takes a holistic view on the necessary transformation of health and social care. Last November, 125 leaders in care from 24 countries met at The Fontenay hotel in Hamburg. At the GCCCF Conference themed “Care 2025”, they exchanged ideas about challenges in all disciplines of care, and innovative approaches designed to help them master those challenges. Round-table events in Cracow, Paris, Copenhagen, and Hamburg had served to provide a basis for discussion.
In his opening address to conference attendees, GCCCF President Ljubisav Matejevic underlined the key ingredient in all forms of care – which is trust. “With trust as a top priority, all staff members committed to providing care deserve our sincere gratitude – because the human factor is, and will be, of primary importance, especially in view of the major trend towards digitization.” For this reason, the coordination and integration of care between physicians, nurses, hospitals, the industry, and all further stakeholders involved will continue to determine the success of progress. The GCCCF President emphasized: “The Global Clinical and Care Coordination Forum is the global platform to bring all stakeholders together to develop trust, to establish a culture of sharing, and, ultimately, to help achieving a successful transformation of care delivery.”
Renowned international speakers presented their best-practice solutions and ideas. The welcoming addresses of Mikhail Marin from the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Hamburg and Doron Abrahami from the Embassy of Israel in Berlin outlined the relevance of globalization and international cooperation also in the field of care. Digital technologies, telemedicine, as well as the collection and analysis of data are essential for future care. All these developments lead to better care, and they ought to be exchanged across boundaries.
Update from the ecosystem of the German Ministry of Health
Prof. Dr. Jörg Debatin is the Chairman of the Health Innovation Hub (hih2025) of the German Health Ministry, founded in April 2019. Together with his 13 staff members, this thought leader scouts the digital arena for innovative solutions geared towards improving care. The hub also acts as a port of call for startup companies who seek advice regarding market contacts, laws, and financing, and it offers a direct communication channel into policymaking.
Prof. Debatin’s strong analytical messages in Hamburg were based on trends, facts, and figures. Disruptive solutions which promise value will find their way into the reimbursement system more easily; with a variety of format including workshops and conferences, the hub will facilitate this road which has been paved by the new German law on digital care (DVG). The expert presented a rather critical view of gematik, the body which is tasked to determine German digital health infrastructure – which will sport robust safety … but at a significant expense.
Challenges confronting the German healthcare system include its orientation towards volume in lieu of value, said the expert. To foster progress through research and development of pharmaceuticals, devices, and apps, 79 percent of German patients are willing to allow access to their health data. According to Prof. Debatin, an impressive 97 percent would consent to use of their data for research in the public interest.
The electronic patient record mandated by German law as of 2021 will offer benefits to physicians, pharmacists, patients and more stakeholders, continued the expert. Pharmacists will finally become members of the care team spanning disciplines, physicians will have access to structured up-to-date data in a summary, promising a reduced documentation workload. As for patients, they will quickly recognize how they can profit from digital records of which they ought to be in control.
It is of key importance to make digital technologies available for the benefit of all, without forfeiting the values of individuals or society – as a matter of digital humanism, said Prof. Debatin. He called for an end of working in (information) silos; teamwork is required to achieve higher quality of care. An evolution is needed from manual medicine towards patient-centred, data-driven, and biologically stratified individual treatment – precision medicine.
Prof. Jean-Daniel Chiche, Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Cochin, Université Paris Descartes in France was very much in agreement with these projections. Teamwork is a must – from clinical decision making to predictive analytics, in particular in intensive care, said the physician-scientist. Access to care as a basic human right provides the umbrella to all these issues. New technologies and artificial intelligence should be deployed, staff members ought to be motivated to embrace them, and know-how should be shared – to avoid situations where individuals gain positions of power which may lead to misuse.
Solutions for clinical and management applications
Conference workshops provided insights into areas of medicine which offer room for improvement through technology. This included presentations by manufacturers and users of tools for the diagnosis of stroke and early detection of related risks. An analysis compared the Apple Heart Study with the Redstroke Study (Reducing Strokes in Europe) by Preventicus. Remote patient monitoring, a challenge in heavily fragmented and regulated health systems, was the topic of a further workshop. And the discussion of an ecosystem to be set up with best-of-breed solutions including mobile care applications also attracted attendees. A representative from the Germany-based medtech company Dräger called for an end to information silos – with the industry finally committing to standards and technical interoperability, in particular among medical devices. Patient safety would be just one major benefit of this approach. Modern IP telephony, as demonstrated by a further session, can contribute to better communication and digitally enabled processes in hospitals and homes for the elderly.
At this year’s conference, the Middle East was strongly represented. Speakers included Lina Shadid, CEO Beverly Hills Medical Center, Abu Dhabi. She stated that 80 percent of health data is stuck in silos, unusable for the improvement of care. Disruption is now on its way, however, with business models converging and emerging. The CEO applauded the dynamics of lawmaking in Germany and commented that she is very much looking forward to hearing about subsequent outstanding developments a year from now.
Abdulqadir J. Nashwan, Director of Nursing for Education and Practice Development, Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, Qatar shared his views on care and industry 4.0 from a nursing standpoint. Robotics, artificial intelligence, and new business models may lead to important changes; however, the human factor in care will never be relinquished, he pointed out.
Progress – a continuing process
Ljubisav Matejevic summarized this year’s rich exchange of thoughts: “Let us continue to communicate and work together on creating change. GCCCF serves as a perfect platform to drive ideas, technology trends, and the further development of existing methods. We expect our global network to grow further in the upcoming years and make significant contributions to progress in care”.
Thanks from the GCCCF President went out, in, to Ascom. Jeannine Pilloud acts as CEO of this company which initiated the Global Clinical + Care Coordination Forum.
She outlined Ascom’s contribution to the transformation of care: the Ascom healthcare platform which enables providers to close gaps in digital information and communication and helps them master their core future challenges – access for all and care of the highest quality in conjunction with economic viability.
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