Navigating the challenges of the healthcare sector
The healthcare sector faces an array of challenges in today's rapidly changing world. To gain a deeper understanding of these challenges and how healthcare professionals and organizations can address them, we sat down with Angus Metcalfe, Managing Director of BSI Global Healthcare.
In this article, we'll explore Metcalfe's insights, sustainability in the pharmaceutical industry, care quality, and the growth of digital health.
Aging populations and noncommunicable diseases
The healthcare sector finds itself at the intersection of challenges stemming from demographic shifts, evolving disease patterns, and global health crises.
To effectively address these challenges, healthcare organizations could consider a multi-faceted approach. This includes augmenting their capacity, offering comprehensive training, prioritizing employee wellbeing, and focusing on staff retention.
While the strategic application of digital technologies holds immense promise, it demands prudent navigation and the establishment of trust within the healthcare workforce as a fundamental requirement.
Metcalfe noted, "Digital technologies will help with the increasing burden but with that comes risks and the need to build trust across the workforce, to help them engage and leverage technologies to help mitigate this continued challenge."
Metcalfe also pointed out the significant concern surrounding the psychological well-being of healthcare workers: "Staff faced unprecedented risk and pressures, and their organizations' response in delivering support has had a significant impact on the outcomes."
Sustainability in the pharmaceutical industry
Sustainability is no longer a peripheral concern for the pharmaceutical industry; it has become central to its operations and reputation.
The industry plays a pivotal role in healthcare by developing, manufacturing, and distributing essential medicines and therapies. However, these activities often have a significant environmental footprint. This impact encompasses aspects such as carbon emissions, waste generation, and the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere.
Metcalfe stated, "I think the broader life sciences industry has recognized their impact on the environment and their broader challenges on other aspects of sustainability and are looking to demonstrate their proactive and innovative approach to carbon, waste, GHG’s."
Quality of care
The pursuit of high-quality care is a foundational principle for healthcare organizations. It involves a multifaceted approach that includes patient safety, clinical excellence, risk management, and compliance with regulatory standards.
By establishing robust quality management systems and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, healthcare organizations can enhance patient outcomes and deliver care that meets or exceeds the highest standards.
According to Metcalfe, "To build clinical excellence, organizations recognizing the need for a robust organizational quality management system could see improvements in patient outcomes."
Digital health opportunities and risks
Digital health is changing the game in healthcare, opening a world of possibilities for improving patient care, making processes more efficient and improving overall healthcare results.
Digital health shouldn't just benefit some, it should be accessible to anyone who requires it, allowing everyone to enjoy the advantages of this digital revolution.
Metcalfe states: “Digital heath feels like the most significant opportunity to see society through these capacity and public health challenges but it’s not without significant risk. The hunger for data, the complex multi organisational digital supply chains, AI and machine learning unknowns, mean we are having to learn, develop standards and regulate incredibly quickly just to keep up with innovations and the demand. The potential for legislation and regulation to take a very hard line on data security, particularly personal health information, could result in organisational risks”.
You could consider prioritizing data security, address interoperability issues, staying compliant with regulations, validating the clinical accuracy of digital tools, and working toward equitable access to ensure that the benefits of digital health are realized while minimizing potential pitfalls.
Mitigating the challenges
In conclusion, Angus Metcalfe's insights underscore the critical nature of the challenges facing the healthcare sector.
By acknowledging these challenges and actively working to address them, healthcare professionals and organizations alike can continue to provide high-quality care and adapt to the evolving healthcare landscape.
Metcalfe explained, "Our dedicated Healthcare Sector team is engaged in the key subsectors of Healthcare and Life Sciences, as well as the key themes of sustainability, digital trust, and our core focus on quality and safety. We immerse ourselves in the community of companies, regulators, academics, and other key stakeholders to help the ecosystem identify the emerging challenges or underserved need and work with them to identify mechanisms to support them to build resilience and trust."