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news | 29 November 2023

‘Improving healthcare is not just a matter of digital collaboration’

Enovation event dedicated to Remote Care

Improving healthcare is not just a matter of digital collaboration. It also depends on how things have been organised. And on how healthcare is being funded. Each is inextricably linked to the other. Thus stated Glenn Bruins, Innovation Lead with Enovation, at the Connect to Care event that took place on November 9 at Hotel Nuland in the Netherlands.

Glenn Bruins - Connect to Care Enovation event 2023

The event’s theme was Remote Care. How can healthcare, which is increasingly being delivered outside of hospital settings, be arranged in such a way that it continues to be affordable and feasible? What is the role of ICT in these processes, e.g., finding a spot, transferring files, or providing remote care? Following a number of presentations and talks, attendees reflected on the challenges that the Dutch healthcare sector faces when it comes to coordinating care and offering remote care. And how ICT can offer solutions.

Ultimate solution

Teun Jonker.

Teun Jonker.

“It is important to facilitate the entire process around a patient. And keep the focus on people in their homes,” Glenn Bruins argues. He emphasised that ICT is not the solution. “This may sound odd coming from an ICT service provider, but I really do believe that improvements are only possible when you also have your ducks in a row organisationally and financially.” So ICT on its own is not the ultimate solution.

A healthcare professional in the audience put it in these terms: “I see a whole bunch of puzzle pieces on the table, but nobody who is willing or able to put these together. When I work with five systems and I’m looking for a solution, I don’t want to add a sixth.”


Natasja van der Winden en Arthur Muller.

Natasja van der Winden en Arthur Muller.

This resonated with the others in the room. Everybody knew from their own background or target group that the world of healthcare is complex, and that there are no simple solutions. Which is why it was great to hear about the experiences of colleagues in the field.

Bruins explains: “The issue also requires guidance from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and from health insurance companies. In our view, the prerequisite is making arrangements for communication and sharing information. This will foster collaboration. In the realm of remote care, new applications emerge every day. These countless eHealth apps do have value on their own. Which is fine, as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. What matters is that a notification from a patient arrives at the right destination. Our aim is to facilitate interoperability so that people in healthcare can do their jobs properly in a single environment.”

Valuable meeting

Wilma Bijsterbosch.

Wilma Bijsterbosch.

Following the introduction by Enovation’s Glenn Bruins, the audience was offered several valuable presentations and lectures. Teun Jonker from Altide (the renamed ZCN/NAAST) described how his organisation implements digital support for home care. Wilma Bijsterbosch from UMC Utrecht University Hospital followed suit by explaining how, through Enovation Point, UMC is streamlining the way in which patients are transferred from a hospital to either a home setting or nursing home.

Bijsterbosch added that significant progress has been made in recent years, primarily benefiting patients but simultaneously increasing operational efficiency.

Educational presentations

Marion Stempels en Quinta Weijtens.

Marion Stempels en Quinta Weijtens.

At this occasion, attendees were also able to choose from several educational presentations by organisations that leverage their expertise every day to improve healthcare through ICT. For example, Natasja van der Winden from Rijnmondnet explained how the application Point is being used. Marion Stempels and Quinta Weijtens from Thema Team discussed the need to properly explain new systems in organisations and at clients’ homes. Bert Mooij from Enovation talked about Digital Care Pathways, and Luc van den Heuvel (also Enovation) outlined how to keep a handle on patients at home while upscaling remote care.

If you’d like to learn more about what was said, the best thing to do is subscribe to the Enovation newsletter, in which we regularly cover our events.

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