Many of the changes in healthcare delivery adopted during the Covid-19 crisis will result in more productive healthcare services – something 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.
The Task Force will produce a set of recommendations to support hospitals adopt innovations and transformative practices realised during the Covid-19 crisis, which have beneficially transformed healthcare services, and so should be sustained in a post-pandemic scenario.
The recommendations will be published by the IHF later this Summer, focusing on 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.
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.
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.
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.