Supporting Hospitals in a Time of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has united healthcare systems across the world with a common purpose: ensuring capacity to help those who have been affected by coronavirus and minimising its impact on the health and well-being of people and their communities.

Acting as a radical disruptor to the ‘normal’ way of doing things, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated innovation within healthcare at an unprecedented pace. Never have hospitals and healthcare organisations been forced to change so radically in such a short period of time. We have seen critical care services being run virtually using digital technologies; organisations rapidly up-skilling staff and mobilising volunteer carers at scale; the breaking-down of workplace silos to ensure patients receive integrated care; creative architectural solutions to manage flows of people in and out of hospitals as part of infection control.

For the most part, these changes have moved healthcare systems towards more effective and agile models of care – something much needed in many health systems globally. To support its community to realise the benefits of these changes, the International Hospital Federation has established the IHF ‘Beyond Covid-19’ Task Force.

Learning from the pandemic

Comprising IHF members and strategic partners from across the international healthcare community, the Task Force is charged with supporting hospitals to adopt practices realised during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have beneficially transformed healthcare services and so should be sustained in the future. Drawing on their own experiences, Task Force members will produce a report and series of in-depth case studies documenting how hospitals can embrace new ways of delivering healthcare, whilst responding to the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

As outlined by Task Force member, Barbara Joers, (President & CEO, Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare): ‘Healthcare organisations across the globe have moved decisively to adapt operations and services to meet the needs of their communities. The IHF ‘Beyond Covid-19 Task Force’ presents a unique opportunity to capture and learn from these innovations and scale them across larger segments of the health care ecosystem to improve our collective agility, with a focus on patient access and outcomes’.

As part of its charge, the Task Force has already identified potential areas of transformation across three different themes: people; healthcare delivery and access; supply, logistics, and infrastructure. Each infographic, linked below, sets out how the challenges within these themes which will be examined by the Task Force:

 

Do the areas of transformation captured in the infographics resonate with your experiences?

For each of these themes, the Task Force will be capturing examples of innovative changes – realised during the COVID-19 pandemic – which have transformed healthcare services for the better. We want to ensure that the work of the Task Force is of maximum benefit to the international healthcare community. If there is an area of transformation that you believe the Task Force should explore, or you have an example of a successful innovation sparked by the pandemic, get in touch via: ihf.secretariat@ihf-fih.org.

As summarised by Task Force member, Shu-Ti Chiou (Founder & President, of the Health & Sustainable Development Foundation):

“By putting people at the heart of its work, the Task Force seeks to capture transformative system-oriented, ‘enabling’ practices in the structure and process domains of healthcare organisations to protect, support, connect and empower their patients and staff towards safer, healthier and more sustainable outcomes”.

The Task Force’s report and case study series will be published later this year and will be showcased at the IHF COVID-19 Virtual Forum as part of the International Hospital Federation’s broader COVID-19 initiative to help hospitals navigate the coronavirus pandemic and enable a world of healthy communities, served by well-managed healthcare organisations. As noted by Task Force member, Adjunct Professor Lee Chien Earn (Deputy Group CEO, Regional Health System, Singapore Health Services):

“One of the best ways to honour the sacrifices made in the fight against COVID-19 is to learn, improve and transform our healthcare institutions and system to be safer, stronger and better for our patients, staff and population”.

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