Enriching knowledge and enhancing care through health data

27 09 19

EAHM Congress 2019:  big data a key success factor for innovation but what about quality?


The 2019 edition of the EAHM Congress (European Association of Hospital Managers) took place in Gent, September 11 – 14th. It was very much an interactive happening with visits to six hospitals complementing the presentations on offer at the main conference site of the prestigious Ghelamco Arena. The umbrella theme was labelled as ‘sharing innovative healthcare strategies’. i~HD was present with a session on the reuse of Electronic Health Records for Learning Health Systems.

The gathering of more than 450 European hospital managers gave us the opportunity to capture their viewpoints on health data and gain insight in the latest uses of data. Throughout the presentations and personal conversations, big data turned out to be a key success factor for innovation

Given the medical, operational and strategic decision-supporting uses of data, the apparent lack of initiatives in the field of data quality reinforces our stand that more attention to the quality of data is pivotal for the delivery of even safer and more effective patient care.

We are happy to hightlight some of the interesting projects and quotes related to the use of health data.


Opening session Wednesday afternoon: EAHM Innovation Awards 2019 


During the first get together on Wednesday night, three speakers were called on stage to present their projects in the running for the EAHM Innovation Award 2019. Two of the three speakers presented projects in which health data played a crucial part. 

In the end, the award was attributed to the EOC group located in the city of Lugano which abandoned inefficient transport by taxis for transferring blood samples from one hospital site to another. Instead they started to use autonomous drones. A rightful winner which couldn’t have been successful without geographical data but let’s say these are somewhat easier to manage than complex patient data. (Drones in action for public health

Official inauguration Thursday morning


On Thursday morning we were welcomed by Mr. Danny Havenith, congress chair, and Prof. Dr. Eric Mortier, CEO Ghent University Hospital, who set the tone: “Big data, data mining and risk prediction are themes hospital managers have to address”.

Data has the same value as a new drug

Dr. Paul Stoffels, Vice Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer – Johnson & Johnson, delighted us by quoting that data and artificial intelligence offer great opportunities to transform the healthcare sector. One study he personally conducted led him to say that data has the same value as a new drug! But data will only break through if it gets the attention it deserves. In a final quote he projects a future where a unique lifesaving decision will be taken for each individual patient on the basis of his own data.  



Data as the foundation of 80% of all decisions to be taken


The second keynote speech was delivered by Prof. Dr. Eugene Fidelis Soh, CEO TTSH and Central Health, Chairman CHI Co-Learning Network. He distinguished himself by his clear vision of the major challenges to improving patient outcomes and hospital efficiency in the face of rising population health needs, and by making it happen! It’s not only about shifting mindsets but progressing at a considerable pace by putting theories in practice.

In the field of data, his team has developed their C3 smart hospital system (Command, Control, Communications) to try and make sense of all data to optimise flows and support care workers. They strive for data to be the foundation of standard procedures for 80% of all decisions to be taken!


Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, EAHM participants had the choice to visit 2 of the 6 hospitals which had developed themes ranging from big data over healing environments to innovation and technology.


Academic session Friday afternoon


Prof. Dr. Gregory Katz, Chair of Innovation & Value in Health, University of Paris Medical School, Director General, Consortium VBHC France, focused this talk on “Valuing Health Outcomes: the Power of Transparancy”.

You wouldn’t go to a bank just because other people say it’s a good bank. 
Why do we do so when it comes to our healthcare?


He underlined the importance of data recording and comparing in order to optimize patient outcome and patient satisfaction. This is not just a win for patients but also a dual win for the hospital as to cost structure and hospital reputation. The use of PROMs (Patient Reported Outcome Measures) will prove the strenght of value based healthcare rather than volume based healthcare. It is important to raise awareness that this is not an instrument to separate the good from the bad but to learn from each other’s procedures to provide the patient with the best healthcare possible. "Transparency is key to accelerate best outcomes, improve reputation, patient and talents attractiveness". 


I~HD session


During the EAHM presentations it was clearly stated that data is an important part of innovative healthcare strategies, but in the discussion there is still room for data quality and improvement strategies. I~HD’s vision is to help hospitals to get better data.

Prof. Dipak Kalra, president of i~HD, took the honour of opening our very interactive session. He pointed out that we are at a crucial intersection in our ecosystem where individualised data meets big data, which requires a major paradigm shift.

Prof. Dipak Kalra was joined by Prof. Pascal Coorevits, Professor, Ghent University, Vice President for Research, The EuroRec Institute, Bart Vannieuwenhuyse, Senior Director Health Information Sciences, Janssen, and Brecht Claerhout, Managing Director, Europe at TriNetX, Inc.

The speakers responded to questions hospital managers struggle with in their daily experience. The topics that were cited include how to motivate people, both the general public as well as clinicians, to share data. To have a sustained effect, the best approach is to demonstrate the value of data analysis by means of real life examples and benefits and to show how we can turn data into insights, smarter behaviour and better outcomes. 

The general public are still unsure about the safety of their personal health data, so we need to insist that GDPR is effective and that the protection of the public’s data is guaranteed.

The participants concluded that a change of cultural mindset is essential to improve healthcare and to speed up research. The data collected is still very much focussed on one purpose, people very often don’t see data as a reusable asset. 


Turn validated data into insights to improve your organisation and create value for patient and organisation


Measuring is knowing. It is great to have data. It would be greater to have great data! We therefore invite you to have a look at the i~HD initiatives to enhance care through health data.


Published on: 27 September 2019