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A-look-back-at-healthcare-2012

Most analyst expectations for 2012 were highly pessimistic and we can now conclude that the actual development during the year turned out better than expected. In the health care arena, a couple of things, mainly in the United States, stood out.


 Most analyst expectations for 2012 were highly pessimistic and we can now conclude that the actual development during the year turned out better than expected. In the health care arena, a couple of things, mainly in the United States, stood out.

The calendar year 2012 is rapidly coming to an end it has certainly been an interesting year in many aspects. One year ago, analysts were discussing the potential collapse of the Euro, a financial crisis in the US and the looming risk of a dramatic recession worldwide. Most analyst expectations for 2012 were highly pessimistic and we can now conclude that the actual development during the year turned out better than expected. In the health care arena, a couple of things, mainly in the United States, stood out.

  • With the reelection of President Obama, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became effectively accepted in the US. This means that the 44 million Americans who are currently unable to get health insurance will be covered and offered assistance through an expansion of Medicaid and Medicare. This will also result in a need for more physicians and medical education.
  • The world’s largest healthcare market is rapidly moving towards a more transparent healthcare institution. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stated it will stop reimbursing hospitals preventable readmissions and health care facility–acquired conditions, such as infections. This is a massive statement and could potentially change the entire healthcare environment. Although this has created a lot of discussions and one could argue that readmissions are less of an issue compared to preventable errors, a focus on measuring quality related issues and applying corrective actions will eventually radically change healthcare for the better.

What about Mentice and endovascular simulation in 2012 then? Well, here’s a shortlist of what we’ve been up to:

  • An advanced electrophysiology (EP) environment integrated with actual heart mapping equipment was developed for one of our key industry clients. With this solution Mentice has taken another leap to move the borders for simulation realism and training proficiency in advanced procedures forward.
  • We presented several new areas for its procedural support where non-invasive interventional techniques are spreading. Creative new technologies in medicine will continue to reduce the need for open surgery, and hence also reduce the risks for patients. To be able to train on these innovative procedures on a Mentice simulator prior to performing them on patients further reduces the risk.
  •  We made our capabilities in fast patient case creation commercially available. Already in 2004, this concept was initially presented to the market by Mentice, offering a clinical team the ability to import patient specific datasets and rehearse a procedure on a simulator prior to performing the procedure on the patient. With the release of our VIST® Case-It technology, we’ve now taken the first step to commercialize this environment for our clients to enable creation of own cases and training material. Radically larger volumes of training content as well as speed of generating content will fundamentally change the use of medical simulation.
  • Our presence and availability on the web and in social media has also improved dramatically; during 2012 we have introduced a new website, a Mentice blog and creation of FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn accounts for connecting and sharing information with our partners and customers around the world.

Let’s for a minute assume that we have the possibility to reach into the future and define what will happen during 2013 to move the borders for patient safety to the next level! The following things would be high on our wish list:

  • A general acknowledgement that patient safety and escalating healthcare costs are one of today’s most critical issues to deal with.  General and public understanding for how dramatically preventable medical errors impact us all, both from the point of view of the risk to us as patients and individuals, but also how it impacts the overall cost of healthcare.
  • A commitment and a structure to measure quality, or lack thereof, in each and every healthcare institution. An understanding of the fact that what you do not measure, you cannot fix!
  • Acknowledgement that new methods, processes and technology are needed to change the negative trend in healthcare. In order for cost to go down and quality to go up, there is a need for substantial restructuring and investments in healthcare systems.
  • Implementation of regulations for certification, reaccreditation and continuous skills improvement throughout everyone’s career. This has been the case for aerospace, nuclear power and similar for a large part of last century but not yet for healthcare.

With this short wish list for the future, all of us here at Mentice would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Written by:
Göran Malmberg
CEO, Mentice AB

 

 


 

Göran Malmberg CEO

Written by Göran Malmberg CEO

CEO at Mentice