The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated innovation within healthcare at an unprecedented pace, towards more effective and agile models of care – a transformation much needed in many healthcare systems globally. To support its members to realise the benefits of these changes, the International Hospital Federation has established the IHF ‘Beyond COVID-19’ Task Force.
Drawing directly of the experiences of Task Force members and their networks, the IHF has published a new report offering insights into how hospitals can embrace new ways of delivering healthcare, whilst responding to the evolving coronavirus pandemic: ‘Building the ‘New Normal’: Harnessing transformative practices from the COVID-19 pandemic’.
The outputs of the Task Force have focused on supporting hospitals in adopting practices realised during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have beneficially transformed healthcare services, and so should be sustained in the future. The ‘Building the ‘New Normal’ report explores transformations across three thematic areas:
Healthcare Delivery and Access
During the coronavirus pandemic, it has been necessary for many hospitals to postpone non-urgent care (particularly operations with extended recovery times) and to repurpose staff to better manage the overwhelming influx of COVID-19 cases. Flexing to meet the demands of the coronavirus crisis has been the challenge of a generation for many healthcare systems, with many hospitals moving beyond their ‘walls’ and into cross-sector collaborations with local governments, etc.
As part of its charge, the Task Force identified potential transformation areas to meet key healthcare delivery and access challenges faced by hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, as set out in this infographic.
Supply, Logistics, and Infrastructure
Hospitals and healthcare service organisations will need to work closely with suppliers and partners to assess the impact on core health product supplies as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts global health product supply chains, affecting key materials and ingredients, finished health products, shipping and logistics. Moreover, hospitals will have to examine how their physical environments and technical infrastructures should be adapted to enable greater flexibility in responding to exceptional healthcare situations in the future.
This infographic sets out what the Task Force identified as some possible areas for transformation to meet key supply, logistics and infrastructure challenges faced by hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic places huge pressures on the ability of health systems to deliver safe, high-quality care, leaders will have to sharpen their focus on meeting the core needs of their staff, ensuring their wellbeing and sustained motivation to help them deal with this rapidly changing situation. In parallel, hospitals will need to regain trust amongst the communities they serve, to ensure patients have confidence in their services for non-COVID-19 health matters. Going forward, patient-empowerment will need to continue, to ensure that they are engaged in decision-making processes not only concerning their health but also more broadly on healthcare services.
The Task Force identified several potential areas for transformation to meet key ‘people’ challenges faced by hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, as set out in this infographic.
Members of the Task Force have expertise in health service delivery, healthcare leadership and management, representing various stakeholders (academia, research groups, non-governmental organisations, health and care leaders, hospital associations, etc.) involved in the aforementioned areas of focus.
As of December 2020, the Task Force no longer formally meets having met its charge through the publication of ‘Building the ‘New Normal’: Harnessing Transformations realised during COVID-19‘. A full list of acknowledgements of those individuals and organisations who contributed to the report can be found here.
Please direct any questions regarding the work of the IHF ‘Beyond COVID-19’ Task Force, to the IHF Secretariat.