Stockholm, 26/27 October 2017
A delegation of 11 hospital directors from Switzerland visited Stockholm from 26 to 27 October 2017. The trip was organised and led by Brigitte Bieri, Patrick Schwendener and Philip Sommer from the PwC Switzerland healthcare team with support from Sarah Lidé and Jon Arwidson and their team from PwC Sweden in hosting and coordinating parts of the visit.
The delegation, which visits hospitals in other countries every year to gain fresh insights, thought that Sweden was an interesting country to visit, particularly with its well-regarded hospitals such as Karolinska University Hospital. Additionally, the discussions proved that some of the top challenges facing healthcare in Switzerland are similar to what Sweden encounters: (1) how do we finance future healthcare costs; (2) the different areas of governance between different levels of government (federal, regional and local) which sometime contributes to fragmented as opposed to holistic care to the patient; and (3) differences in healthcare governments across the various regions.
What left an impression from their trip was, for one, how the Swedish government has developed a clear vision and roadmap ahead for ehealth:
“You have a very developed ehealth story, which is something we can learn from.” – Nicolaus Fontana, Managing Director, Klinik Adelheid AG, Rehabilitation Center Central Switzerland.
They also found the trips to Södersjukhuset and Nya Karolinska Solna (NKS) insightful. They visited the innovative and forward-looking mockups of the future operating rooms at Södersjukhuset, and had a good discussion with the program management office, where PwC Sweden is also involved. They were impressed by the details that are tested in the mockups and the positive involvement from the staff in improving the new operating rooms. They also had the opportunity to visit the NKS showroom and hear a presentation on how NKS looks at value-based care and has engaged its staff in implementing it in their care flows. The presentation showed in a very honest way the difficulties and challenges facing during a change management process.
“How NKS has approached change management has been inspiring. We all know that change hurts, but maybe we should be more innovative in approaching this and also considers changes at the basis of our system.” – Fortunat von Planta, Director, Kantonsspital Uri and President of the Association “Zentralschweizer Spitäler”.
“It was interesting to observe the different approaches between the two hospitals towards the construction of new buildings and how and to what level they were engaging their employees in the process.” – Kerstin Moeller, Director, Spital Schwyz.
On Friday 27 October 2017, PwC Sweden hosted the delegation at the PwC Stockholm office and held a series of presentations on healthcare in Sweden, including ehealth developments, as well as discussed the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Swiss hospitals, which, though not under EU, would be impacted whenever they receive EU persons as patients. The delegation was intrigued to learn that – although the new regulations might include some administrative burden – it might also help to improve the internal processes regarding data handling.
“My hospital is just starting a project analysing its administrative processes. We suspected that there are a lot of costs being wasted in this process. Given what I’ve heard about GDPR, I’m now encouraged to include this perspective into the project as well, to see if it is addressed in our administrative processes.” – Kerstin Moeller, Director, Spital Schwyz.
The 11 hospital directors all confirmed that the trip was a great success.
“It’s good to realize that others are also just cooking with water” as Nicolaus Fontana put it. And Fortunat von Planta added: “We become aware that Switzerland has very high standards for hospitals and that a lot of the things we are doing, are very good.”
Also PwC Switzerland and PwC Sweden acknowledged the importance of such trips:
“Leveraging the power of our international network for the benefits of our clients is crucial to be truly distinctive. Thus, we need to use this power not only in specific projects but also in learning situations as experienced during this trip.” – Brigitte Bieri, Deals Healthcare Expert, PwC Switzerland.
“It was interesting to observe that many of the challenges we face are the same across countries. Such trips spur discussions on what we can all do differently to come closer to sustainable healthcare, which is really the aim for every society. The more we can learn from each other and push each other to improve, the better!” – Sarah Lidé, Healthcare Driver Sweden, PwC Sweden.
“Learning together with our clients, gaining fresh perspectives is very valuable. It’s truly a trustful partnership together with our clients. It allows us and our clients to be open-minded and question the status quo.” – Philip Sommer, Head Consulting Healthcare, PwC Switzerland.
Last but not least, such trips also enable us to live up to the PwC purpose:
“PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. To do so, we need to exploit and leverage the full potential of our experience and insights. Such trips enable knowledge sharing between hospitals and healthcare experts in our firm and at the same time strengthen personal relationships.” – Patrick Schwendener, Head Deals Healthcare, PwC Switzerland.