Choosing to be Difficult

e-trinity is purposefully changing the way healthcare is doing business. Its founder is attracted to the healthcare field because of its inherent difficulty on one hand and the potential and vital efficiency improvement of healthcare delivery on the other hand. This magnetic appeal of detecting improvement and defining solutions keeps Jeroen Van Maercke and his company e-trinity on the forefront of the healthcare evolution. Jeroen weighs in on why he’s drawn to this particular challenge and his hopes for the industry.

Facing the future

Healthcare isn’t sustainable. It is a failed state about to collapse. Healthcare delivery organizations are facing a huge challenge. They face a rapidly increasing demand due to the aging demographic. Meanwhile, both the evolution of healthcare and treatment possibilities are progressing vastly. Since the emergence of social networks and healthcare communities, the patient has been claiming a more active role in his healthcare and wellbeing. This in turn places pressure on the various healthcare organizations to redefine their mission and position in society. Last but not least, the increased financial stress on healthcare budgets forces healthcare organizations to optimize their processes and collaborate with others to limit and/or share their investments.

Gaining the necessary perspectives

I’ve always worked in healthcare, starting over 10 years ago with Quadrat in 1997. Industry has only one motivation – margin for profit – with a single leader responsible. It was here I climbed the corporate ladder until I worked on the global introduction and training of a software program. The years of traveling took its toll and in 2003 I opted for a job with the University Hospital Antwerp.

Instead of working for hospitals, I was in one. I soon learned that a healthcare organization is different from an industry organization. There is not a single leader in a hospital that can make decisions and be held solely responsible for them. Revenue in hospitals is generated by (often-independent) doctors utilizing and paying for the hospitals facilities. In many cases, the lack of clear responsibility resulted in conflicts of interest, power struggles on simple matters, and delayed business decisions. It was a frustrating experience that so few decisions were made and a limited amount could be accomplished.

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