The report from KPMG, together with the Manchester Business School, Accelerating Innovation: the power of the crowd, is based on in-depth interviews with ehealth executives representing 15 countries, as well as insights from KPMG’s global healthcare partners. Due to changing demographics, the need to reduce costs and to increase the quality of care, ehealth is seen as a crucial approach to address the global imperative to improve and advance healthcare.
Nearly 60 percent of the healthcare executives interviewed said that the top two drivers of ehealth will be patient expectation (61 percent) and an increase in efficiency (58 percent). More than 30 percent of respondents said that the main barrier to sustainable ehealth systems is funding (34 percent), while 29 percent believed it to be professional attitudes.
According to Dr. Mark Britnell, KPMG’s Global Chair for Health: "Implementing ehealth requires conviction and commitment, but the benefits to patients can be enormous if done well. Our global study offers direction for success and showcases leading examples which can give decision makers the confidence and courage to press on."
“In order for ehealth systems to deliver on the promises of reduced costs and improved quality of care, clinicians will need to be brought on board – either willingly or in response to consumer demand,” Britnell added.
To create real change in the healthcare system, through eHealth initiatives, the report cites three conditions essential for success: crowd-accelerated innovation, collaborative alignment and creative dislocation.
- Crowd accelerated innovation denotes the impact and influence of the collective – when many people come together to affect change, such as the human genome project or the free internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
- Collaborative alignment requires the focused interests and efforts of a wide range of participants.
- Creative dislocation proposes that processes and systems must be abandoned to move forward, such as digital imaging versus conventional film x-rays.
Successful projects that employ these approaches include the Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC) in the US, Singapore’s National Electronic Health Record system (NEHR) and Denmark’s ehealth portal, www.Sundhed.dk.
But more often it is the case that electronic health projects have lost momentum or collapsed under their own complexity.
According to our study, crowd accelerated innovation suggests that eHealth becomes more sustainable based on the size of the program and breadth of stakeholder adoption. “From this perspective, the good news is that the Romanian e-health program seems to be heading in the right direction – the SIUI, e-cards, e-prescription and electronic health records initiatives are both sizeable and nationwide.”, says Maria Elisei, Healthcare Leader, KPMG in Romania. “The case for ehealth has never been more compelling yet its performance has never been more mixed. Ehealth systems do not develop in isolation. Planners must ensure that the right environment has been created to support the transformation.”
The top 3 barriers to successful implementation of ehealth initiatives mentioned in our study - financing, professional attitudes and poor change management - are also relevant in the Romanian context. While the first two made the headlines more than often, the latter is a topic that seems to have been neglected, despite its importance.
”In order for an eHealth program to rise beyond the pilot stage, additional effort is required in getting more crowd support, to align the stakeholders and substitute the existing way of working. Don’t treat eHealth as an IT project – it is in fact a significant business transformation. Since the healthcare system will undergo a structural reform anyway, perhaps now is the time to identify and eliminate processes and technologies that are no longer relevant to the system, rather than finding ways to append eHealth components to existing systems” concluded Dinu Bumbacea Management Consulting Partner with KPMG Romania.