How do you run a hospital

This is the question we asked to the chairman of the board of the OLVG, Maurice van den Bosch. The answer to this question was quite different from the answer weexpected. The answer was not about complicated governance structures or workgroups, no, the only way to find a good answer to this question was a new question, according to Maurice. What gives you the license to lead? To answer this question Maurice askedus to dive deep into ourselves. Just give it a moment to think what your core value is, your anchor in doing things in live. The answers of our patient advocates were beautiful: fairness, openness, justice, meaning and “for other people”. Leading accordingyour core value means you know what decisions to take, you know what to do. With always one question in mind: what’s best for the patient.

This sounds very simple, but it certainly is not easy. Your core values are often not the same as the values of others. Conflict of interests, money, ambition, plenty of reasons not to put the patient first. Maurice talks about the beautiful example of “Surgerywithout incision” (NL: opereren zonder snijden). Obviously this treatment is in total benefit of the patient. No surgery, only one day at the hospital, no long recovery times, better results…. Sounds like a no brainer? Think again! Less work for the surgents,new way of working, radiologist has to be re-educated, is there enough proof? No refund by insurance companies…

We are back to the biggest enemy for Inspire2live: The System. We are stuck in the system, everybody understands the new way of working is better, but no one knows how to get out of the system. According to Maurice this is where your core value comes in again.In combination with the context, fight for your (the patients) rights. Create the coalition of the willing, patients will be shouting for this treatment but find the willing doctors and willing researchers. Put them together in one room and get to the plan.Find the ones pulling the strings and get to work! In this case Inspire2live, together with Maurice created the coalition of the willing and convinced the ones pulling the strings. Maurice could not have done it without I2L and I2L could not have done it withoutMaurice. “Surgery without incision” is now a common treatment refunded by the insurance companies.

We, patient advocates, don’t run hospitals, but we do run our own lives. Better treatments, better care, better patients, humanity in caretaking. We can contribute by keeping our core value in mind, focusing on what we want to achieve for the patient and createthe coalition of the willing. F… the system!

Ilona Schelle
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live