- efficiency of the process
- one appointment will only last 10 minutes and will contain different check-ups, depending on the complaint
- rethinking of the health care system
- different ways to use resources
- reduced costs and better quality
- flexibility of employees
- lean and mean
- set-up costs
- differentiate and consolidate to optimize use of employees and expensive equipment
- more flow in the system, quick turn around
At the begin of the century, the main power in the hospitals was with the medical staf. The specialists were not employed by the hospitals, but were independent professionals, who charged high tariffs for their services. The availability of the specialists also determined the timing when medical treatment was provided. As a result, patients had to wait between different treatments and stayed long times waiting in the hospital. The system was "specialist-oriented".
Since 2000 the costs of health care have been rising dramatically. The continuously aging population, more chronical and modern luxury diseases, and new (but expensive) technologies have changed society and medical opportunities, but have also contributed to a system that was not affordable anymore.
With the rising costs, also solidarity between people decreased. People who were seldom ill, were no longer willing to pay the high insurance premium, while they would have to wait long times before receiving any treatment anyway.
These developments resulted in a system that was no longer affordable. Also changes in the external environment contributed to this. For instance, the growing population resulted in high prices of land, which also affected the hospitals. Simultaneously, manufacturing and service firms had managed to reduce costs and increase efficiencies by streamlining operations. This idea was extended to hospitals as well, resulting into the new hospital.
Mission of the new hospital
The new hospital is run as a for-profit company, with patients in the role of products. The main focus in managing the hospital is on efficiencies, i.e. managing the costs per patient. Besides the costs of medical treatment, also costs of patients staying in the hospital, are very high. An estimate is that a patient costs approximately 1000 euros per day.
The mission of the hospital is to prevent sickness and to cure the patient and to do this in the shortest possible time. This will be stimulated by insurance companies (who will also lower their costs) and by the patients themselves (who want to return to their home environment as soon as possible) and of course by the working environment (the quicker the patient returns home, the quicker he/she can start with teleworking.
Process in the new hospital
A patient entering the hospital receives an initial screening based on the complaints. Some checks can be even performed at home, due to the advanced technologies. Based on this diagnosis a schedule is made for the needed medical treatments. The screening, proposed treatment and schedule is all done via the internet. In most of these situation the patient has not entred the hospital (yet). The (proposed) schedule is based on the availability of the specialists and of course the availability of the patient. Various schedules over time are presented to the patient (different dates, specialists and locations). During the treatment the various medical professionals visit the patient without waiting time in between. Basically, the medical professionals adjust their time to the patients, instead of vice versa like in the year 2000. The specialists are lesser connected the hospitals but closely connected to the patients; their locations is of less importance. After the treatment the patient is released as soon as possible and after-treatment is provided as much as possible at home again.
The new hospital is is "patient-oriented" instead of "specialist-oriented", but it does not compromise on quality of medical care and takes full benefit of the new technological developments. It requires however a new way of thinking. The way of working in the hospital will reduce the time of the entire treatment, bring more flow into the system (since set up costs are low), increase flexibility, optimize us of (medical) employees and expensive technology, and increase the throughput.