Dear Mr Hunt,

I had the pleasure of being invited to the Danish Embassy today to the ‘Innovative Healthcare Transformation’ day. I was truly inspired by the talk given by Lars Ganzhorn Knudsen, CIO at Det Nye Universitetshospital, Århus.

We heard of the healthcare revolution that is ongoing in Denmark and how they have used technology to leverage transformation as they work towards process orientated hospital engineering. Despite the fact that they have not reached their final goals yet they have realised some astonishing benefits.

Things that I was impressed by:-

They have reduced number of hospitals in Denmark opting for centralised ‘super’-hospitals. They have addressed political & population unrest with this concept by addressing it head on & surveying the population. They asked; ‘when you have your heart attack do you want your treatment delivered by someone who does many in a day, is an expert and has the best outcomes or do you want it done by someone who is a generalist, who does a few a year and has poor to average outcomes?’ They also asked; ‘do you want a large centralised hospital or do you want many small general hospitals, the latter will cost you more in tax?’ Needless to say the population are on side.

The centralisation project in conjunction with automation has reduced secondary care expenditure. The capital released has been used to fund the building of 5 new ‘super’-hospitals. These hospitals have digital & automated medical records, patient administration and logistics. They have also invested in helicopter services to get patients from rural communities into centralised hospitals.

Lars described a surgical pathway, patient meets surgeon in outpatients, surgeon books theatre slot and any pre-admission investigations at appointment, but in addition the logistics are automated so that correct sterile products, dressings, medications etc are also booked to arrive at theatre for the procedure. The team can also track the RFID labelled kit via a smartphone so that the team can be assured that it is going to be in the right place at the right time. Patient, surgeon, anaesthetist, surgical kit all arrive at allotted theatre on the right day at the right time thereby reducing any waste.

Emergency patients are triaged and admitted ‘en route’ in the air or on the road to the hospital as paramedic system integrates with the hospital system.

I could go on…

This happens because the hospital is process driven and run by ‘hospital process owners’.

The outcome?

A safer hospital.

Better patient outcomes.

Less waste, lower cost.

Dear Mr Hunt, please can we look to our European neighbours with proven track records and excellent population health outcomes for innovative ways to transfrom the NHS?

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