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Digitalization as the Burning Platform of Health Care

Closing remarks of an executive conference

Last days I attended and closed with a keynote lecture a threeday conference (Ingendael Discours) with executives from health care. The main theme being ‘The burning platform of health care due to the digitalization’. Participants were mostly executives from hospitals, insurers and medical specialists, but also, luckily, many from a patient perspective or patient organizations. Organized by the Blommestein Group. A management summary of the Ingendael Discours is available (in Dutch only), click here to download pdf.

My keynote remarks at the end of the conference were based on my observations during the conference, of course within the frame of the main messages in my recent book.Especially the subtitle of that book: ‘Harnessing the disruptive power of citizens’ also hints at a ‘burning platform’. In the case of health care, it points especially to the new and sometimes disruptive power of patients, as is shown in my video interview after a conference in Sweden about health care. My closing remarks were based on 4 main messages and analyses from the book:

  1. It’s not technology, stupid, but mentality and training, leading to more power of citizens (and patients)
  2. All public services will be forced to base themselves on the principle of ‘co-producing citizens’. The time of supplyside attitudes and monopolies is over, because patients know more, can and want to do more and choose more and can organize increasingly their informal networks, due to new technologies. The new technologies lead to an attitude of and information about health care providers that helps patients in their interaction with health care providers and professionals enormously to have influence and choice.
  3. The media-landscape has fundamentally changed by adding a new, third, direct channel of, from and by citizens themselves. In agendasetting and newsgenerating that will be the dominant channel in the future. It generates a permanent public grandstand that will judge and comment all societal and public issues that people find important or scandalous.
  4. What we need in these times of revolution is more leadership, in my analysis a special kind of leadership: civil leadership. With the right attitude as ‘one of us, citizens’, the right skills to convince the permanent public grandstand and the personality and appearance to reassure people in turmoil or anxiety. The time executives could hide behind their formal position and formal arguments is definitely over.

Most people attending the conference recognized my comments and observations and especially felt there was still a lot of homework for them at home at their organizations!

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