Healthcare in a Changing Europe - INSEAD's Healthcare Management Initiative

Founded in 1996, the Healthcare Management Initiative research centre aims to make INSEAD a global point of reference for what has emerged as a powerful and challenging discipline. With medical professionals throughout the world increasingly being asked to assume often unfamiliar administrative duties for which they typically have had little formal training, HMI seeks to spread expert knowledge through publication, MBA instruction, executive education and stakeholder consultation. In doing so, HMI has fostered partnerships with some of the world's leading corporations involved in healthcare.

by David Hayhurst

Founded in 1996, the Healthcare Management Initiative aims to make INSEAD a global point of reference for teaching and research in healthcare management. HMI seeks to spread expert knowledge through publication, MBA instruction, executive education and stakeholder consultation. In doing so, HMI has fostered partnerships with some of the world's leading corporations involved in healthcare, including Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson.

As more and more of the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age in developed countries, healthcare budgets are increasingly threatening to become near-crippling drains on government resources. For this and many other reasons, it is essential that healthcare professionals and policy makers alike have a better understanding of how the core components of their systems interrelate. But many health care professionals, such as physicians, are trained to act and think autonomously. They have often found their new roles as administrators and negotiators unsettling and frustrating.

In Britain, the National Health Service is undergoing the biggest transformation since its foundation in the 1940s. Reducing patient waiting times, freeing up hospital beds and a host of other issues, have been a priority for both national and regional governments. In recent years, HMI has designed a new executive leadership development programme in collaboration with the British National Health Service Modernisation Agency. Last year, HMI provided instruction at the Fontainebleau campus to over 100 general and clinician managers from English hospitals and primary care facilities. The two-week course was intended to help this next generation of NHS leaders -- most of whom are currently just below board-level

HMI is also overseeing the development of nine teaching cases regarding developmental changes in the English NHS. "This will be a big contribution in helping healthcare professionals to appreciate specific issues," said HMI team member Mattia Gilmartin. "At present, there are no such cases available focusing specifically on the NHS. We hope to have four cases available by the end of the year."

If Western European healthcare providers are often feeling overwhelmed by their new roles and responsibilities, their colleagues in the former socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe face even more pressing challenges. They have been forced to adjust to a new environment from one in which all virtually all decision-making was centralised while also often being drastically short of funds and other resources. In 2004, HMI and INSEAD alumni Dr. Attila Erdos, Country Manager for GE Medical Systems in Hungary, led a series of one-day business skills workshops for radiologists in Budapest and Prague. Later this year, HMI will publish a series of pocket-sized books in English, Czech, Hungarian and Polish detailing recent findings based on these seminars.

Healthcare 2020

The Healthcare is a twice-yearly conference held at Fontainbleau. The forum's overall goal is to foster debate and action for improving healthcare management throughout Europe. Leading healthcare multinational Johnson & Johnson has worked closely with HMI in organizing Healthcare 2020 and with INSEAD Executive Education in the European Health Leadership Programme (EHLP), a series of two-week courses for healthcare professionals from across Europe held twice per year in Fontainebleau.

J&J is also involved with INSEAD and other leading business schools in Europe through RESPONSE, an EU-funded research project on Corporate Social Responsibility in which J&J is a test subject.

"The relationship with INSEAD and, through their alliance, with Wharton helps us to advance healthcare knowledge globally," said Frank Welvaert, J&J's director of social responsibility for Europe and the Middle East. "The European Health Leadership Programme represents an opportunity to invest in talented individuals whose decisions make a genuine difference to people's lives. The biennial Healthcare 2020 Forum challenges us to predict the future of healthcare. And through the research we're able to learn about ourselves as a key actor on the healthcare stage."

HMI also addresses issues of pressing concern to pharmaceutical makers and consumers. A major challenge for drugs makers has been responding to the changes in demands of both physicians and patients. The Internet is also affecting many aspects of the relationship between both actors. For the pharmaceutical industry at large, the changes that e-health has imposed has meant that new marketing strategies need to be developed. But many within the industry have expressed concern that they do not know how best to respond to the new customer relationship management demands that e-health has created.

In the developed world, marketing and sales still account for over a quarter of revenues, on average - about twice what the industry currently spends on R&D. In 2001, a joint team from HMI and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young conducted a series of comprehensive discussions with 101 senior executives in pharmaceutical and medical device producers in the USA, Europe and Australasia, including the top ten pharmaceutical multinationals, to gain insight into the impact e-business practices were having on the industry as a whole.*

(* Vision & Reality: The Quantum Shuffle - the impact of e-health on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.)

Note: visit the HMI website by clicking directly on the logo at the right of this page.


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