SATURDAY, 06 JULY 2013
PHILIPSBURG – Challenges being faced in the healthcare sector were dissected at KPMG’s healthcare session themed: “Aligning the St. Maarten Healthcare chain, centering the patient” at the Holland Beach House Hotel on June 26. The evening started off with two presentations by KPMG Global Healthcare experts: Asharaf Shehata, Partner IT Health, Global Center of Excellence (USA) and David Ikkersheim, Associate Director, Global Healthcare Expert Center (Netherlands). Shehata presented insights on IT trends in healthcare all over the world and was followed by Ikkersheim’s presentation on how to improve and attract health workforce.
The facts and insights given by these experts led to in-depth discussions, mainly about an IT strategy for St. Maarten. IT is an important enabler for transforming healthcare by focusing on value and quality of care instead focusing on the cost and volume. KPMG shared its vision on a stepped adaption of a health information system for St. Maarten in which data will be shared between different organisations. In discussion with the participants, a mind shift was made on the approach for health IT “It is not necessary to invest in building a whole new health information system from scratch, but use existing information systems to build a big data system, based on cloud services, which enables different healthcare organisations to share important information,” said Shehata.
“This means that instead of legislating one health information system, which every health organisation must comply with, standards and regulation for sharing data should be developed,” added Ronald Pieters, Director of the St. Maarten ofﬁce of KPMG. This also means that every organisation can keep working with their own health information system. Eventually, the output of this big data system will forecast and predict trends in healthcare. “It is important that this IT model is built to beneﬁt the patient’s needs and improve the quality of healthcare delivery. This has proven to ultimately lower the costs as well. “The success rate of similar systems is seen in different countries in Europe, the USA and Asia. A remarkable advantage of this system is that it could be implemented much faster than when building a new information system,” stated Martina Bartelink, Manager Advisory at KPMG in St. Maarten.
KPMG said one of the most important conclusions was that all healthcare players need to collaborate to realise the goal of successfully integrating IT in the healthcare system. “The presence of the diverse group of healthcare actors made it possible to shed light on different point of views in this meaningful dialogue about the future of healthcare in St. Maarten. This resulted in a shared vision on the next steps for developing and implementing an IT healthcare strategy for St. Maarten,” it was stated in the release.
Attendees included Health Minister Cornelius de Weever, directors and other representatives of health, Social and Health Insurance SZV, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), Louis Constant Fleming Medical Center St. Martin, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), policy workers and healthcare professionals. KPMG said the session provided a unique setting in which stakeholders shared their insights on the biggest challenges and opportunities in healthcare on the island. They also discussed how to surpass the existing barriers and focus more on value and quality of care.
Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten