Pharmaceutical sales representative and mature woman physician having a discussion in hospital hallway. General practitioner discussing patient case status with his medical staff using digital tablet. Pharmaceutical representative showing medical report on digital tablet to mature doctor.
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Philips has announced the results of its eighth Future Health Index report in the Netherlands. Last year’s report already showed that staff satisfaction and retention is the top priority of Dutch executives. Staffing is not the only challenge facing executives. They also have financial concerns, with many Dutch hospitals suffering from sharply rising operating costs.

  • Dutch healthcare administrators are reluctant to use technology for staff shortages
  • It seems sustainability is no longer on the priority list among Dutch administrators.

“Healthcare institutions are currently facing staff and financial shortages, so the focus of directors is rightly on keeping care accessible for patients,” says Léon Kempeneers, managing director at Philips Benelux. “As an industry, we also need to keep our eyes on the future. How do we solve problems structurally. Now administrators work a lot with staffing agencies, as the Future Health Index also shows, but the shortage of healthcare staff remains. Implementing the right people-oriented technology can make a lasting difference.”

Directors less likely to choose technology than their international peers

The Dutch Future Health Index survey reveals two striking results in the areas of solving staff shortages and sustainability, where the answers of Dutch executives differ substantially from those of their international peers.

When Dutch executives are asked about their preferred partner for solving staff shortages, 41% mention employment agencies. Only 14% of directors in the Netherlands say their hospital or institution uses or plans to use digital health technology to reduce the impact of staff shortages. This is significantly less than directors worldwide (56%), in Europe as a whole (49%) and especially in Germany (66%).

Commenting on the potential of technology in healthcare, Léon Kempeneers says: “We need to think together about how we can transform healthcare with technology. Calculations carried out by Gupta Strategists on behalf of the FME show that we can already address a large part of the staff shortage with current technology. I notice that we mainly have an implementation deficit in healthcare – there lies a big challenge for the coming years.”

The importance of sustainability has declined

A second striking result is that directors in the Netherlands give sustainability initiatives a lower priority compared to previous years. Of the Dutch respondents (directors and younger professionals), 43% say they give sustainability a lower priority. It is also notable that Dutch directors mainly look to companies for the solution while their international colleagues look to the government. Almost a third (31%) of Dutch directors and young healthcare professionals (higher than the global average of 20%) placed medical technology companies first when it comes to responsibility for creating sustainability standards in healthcare.

Only 11% of executives and younger healthcare professionals in the Netherlands thought governments should be most responsible for creating sustainability standards in healthcare. Globally, 26% of respondents thought governments were responsible for setting sustainability standards

“Companies like Philips can help hospitals and healthcare institutions become more sustainable, we have made huge strides ourselves in recent years,” says Léon Kempeneers. “We work according to EcoDesign principles when developing our products and think about energy efficiency. Recently, we conducted studies with a number of hospital including in Portugal, US and Finland to identify their environmental impact. We provided recommendations on how these hospitals can become more sustainable. I therefore invite Dutch hospital to engage with us on sustainability and also consider sustainability criteria in their purchases.”