n a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Mary Fiers, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer, and Tessie Hartjes, E52 tries to find out what the future will look like. All five contributors – sometimes accompanied by guest bloggers – are working on solving the problems of our time. Everything to make Tomorrow Good. This Sunday, it‘s Lucien Engelen’s turn. Here are all the previously published columns.

How spoiled we all are after all. In the field of digital care, for example, there is quite a lot of criticism and there are calls for ‘upscaling’, ‘rolling out’ and ‘implementing’. All well and good, however, if you look back and see what has already happened in recent years, you can be quite hopeful.

This week it was the National eHealth Week (#ehw18). At more than 250 locations throughout the country, professionals showed their experiences together with patients, including learning points. Highly motivated people who have gone to work with passion to carefully try to make the opportunities that are enclosed in it into a reality. Even if only because we simply do not have a choice with a nearly doubling of the demand for care and – I estimate – an equal or even lower budget.

The call for ‘more staff’ and ‘more money’ is always fun, but is quite utopian. We saw a week with a Secretary General of the Ministry of Health who traveled all over the country, to show in as many places as possible that the government is NOT the problem if you have a real problem.

(Disclaimer: I have been appointed the international ambassador of Nursing of the society Sigma Theta Tau; a great unexpected honour for me as the only non-nurse).

Looking at the call for more nurses, I am certainly in part in favour of this, at least as far as I can see it. On the other hand, however, I can see that there are technological solutions, which are still neglected by the doctors. Thanks to these technological possibilities, it’s not needed anymore to ask of every nurse to be trained in higher education; the use of technology is becoming easier and simpler.

I would like to see more attention being paid to this aspect too. It’s a good thing that part of it is now in the manifest (also signed by our Radboudumc).

Innovation can break through existing paradigms, look at things from a different angle, colour outside the lines. Einstein has already said: “If you are searching at the same place where the original problem arose, you will find the same solution.”

I challenge everyone to, for once, NOT go to this well-known annual congress of your sector, but to a congress from another sector. I have been doing this for years and that leads to surprising insights, contacts, and unexpected solutions. So…. if you are looking for another congress about something other than your own field of expertise: the health industry needs your thinking and experience. 😉

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