'More quality, less waste' - Fenna Heyning

01-10-2020
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Fenna Heyning, director of STZ - association of topclinical teaching hospitals - has a focus on innovation and improvement of the system. On October 28th she is the chair of the webcast ‘High Value Care and Corona: Uncertainty as the New Normal’.

Register here for the Linnean webcast 'High Value Care and Corona: Uncertainty as the New Normal on October 28th: https://www.linnean.nl/Beheer/Formulierenmodule/1760020.aspx?t=Registration-form-webcast-28-oct-2020

Background

As an internist-hematologist Fenna Heyning helped patients with blood clotting disorder or thrombosis and blood-forming tissues (such as bone marrow or leukemia). In addition to her work as an internist-hematologist, she received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Leiden on several studies on primary diffuse large B lymphoma, is a cutaneous lymphoma skin disease that occurs mostly in elderly females. This research has helped to tailor the treatment for the individual patient. 

My PhD and now?

After my phD, which I did in addition to my job as an internist-hematologist, I had many discussions with colleagues in the care sector. In this way I got in touch with the work of Michael Porter, an economist and professor at Harvard Business School. After reading his book Redefining healthcare which he co-wrote with Elisabeth Teisberg, Professor Dell Medical School and McCombs School of Business and Head of Value Institute for Health & Care, I was even more excited. And Clayton Christensen, professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, described in Innovators Prescription the essence of care. In fact, Hippocrates already described the basis of value-based healthcare. He only had Greek words and other terms. The essence is: as caregivers, you try to help the helper/citizen. One time it's a heavy treatment. The other time it is hearing the story and choosing to do no treatment. This feels like doing nothing, but as a healthcare provider you add a lot of value. Porter and Christensen wrote down and expressed this philosophy very nicely.

What is your ambition?

Working from the philosophy of value-based healthcare to more quality and less waste, is my ambition. In that order. If we work from quality, this automatically leads to less waste. Waste is not only about less euros of dollars, but also about less pain, less time loss, the values that matter to the patient. This has to be reflected in every strategy, every project you do as a healthcare professional or as a director.

What would you like to give others?

We can come up with beautiful theories together, but it's about how we apply these concepts in practice. What does the patient notice? Richard Bohmer, a New Zealand physician and professor at Harvard Business School, is my inspiration. He brings abstract concepts and practice together. There's not one golden answer. If there's a problem, get creative with what you can do at that moment. As an example, if you go on holiday with your family, and the car tire breaks, you can do different things. You can follow a protocol or call your supervisor. You probably don't do either and get creative. One replaces the tire himself, the other calls the ‘ANWB’ and another will go for an ice cream with his children. This simplicity should be seen more often in care. Depending on the situation and the wishes of the patient, you will get to work. My message: keep it simple in this complex world.

The future of care: providing time, place and personal care independently

In the past, you had to go to a bank in person to get money. Nowadays you can transfer money at any time of the day (time). We don't visit banks anymore, everything happens online (place). We also no longer have to wait for a certain person (person). All signs point that healthcare is shifting into this way. Care is disconnected from time, place and person. This will reduce waste with the primary aim of improving quality. The right care in the right place and often this care will be delivered to patient in their homes. The nature of the work changes, but it makes it more fun and challenging. In healthcare, we need to make sure that everyone gets the same opportunities: more diversity and inclusiveness is an important.

Linnaeus as the common line

Linnaeus is a common line in my life. I grew up on the ‘Linnaeuslaan’ and as a child I celebrated my birthday in the Linnaeushof, a large playground. Then I met the Swede Carl Linnaeus during my studies. Linnaeus is the founder of scientific names.  My PhD took place in the academy building in Leiden. In this building there are busts of gentlemen from the past, including Linnaeus. My photo book of my promotion starts with his bust image. In this list, I now add the function of “member of the board of the Linnean Initiative” since July 2020.

What do you think Linnean can do for others?

The strength of the Linnean Initiative is that it is a network with no political interests. An agile club that is flexible. This feels natural and has grown partly intuitively. This is where energy is released. Because everyone is equal, you can travel together to the next station. This fits with the pioneering phase. The value-based healthcare mind is now becoming more and more well known. We now need to take steps towards implementing value-based healthcare on the working flour. Let's not just limit ourselves to inspiration. We cherish this, but we will go a step further in the near future.

Contact

Fenna Heyning, Director STZ | f.heyning@stz.nl

Continue reading

  • Heyning, F. (2011). Primary Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma or Bone. Leiden University (thesis)
  • Porter M. & E. Teisberg (2006) Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on ResultsInnovators descriptions. Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Christensen C., J.H. Grossman & J. Hwang (2016) The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Healthcare. Mcgraw-Hill Education.

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