At Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, whose collaboration with Philips spans 30-plus years, the introduction of new technology in hospitals plays a valuable role in attracting talent and creating an environment where technology motivates and drives people to learn and grow.
But it is a relationship that involves a two-way feedback loop and close collaboration on the design of new innovations.
“Many vendors or companies that we work with in healthcare are only interested in transactional relationships,” says Carol Melvin, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute.
“We’ve created an environment here with the staff and the physicians where they welcome new technology. The staff is very interested and wants to learn new ways to do things, and new ways to provide the care.”
Technology is intertwined in the way hospitals function and how they perform – their ability to reduce hospitalisation times, enhance patient safety and deliver quality outcomes – but it is also critical in how they attract, support and motivate their staff.
“We don’t want to have technology just for technology’s sake,” says Dr Barry T. Katzen, M.D., founder and Chief Medical Executive of the Institute. “There has to be some measurable, deliverable benefit to the patients, to the hospital system, to the people who work in the system, and so on.”
“When you look at some of these benefits, they wind up resulting in reduced procedure time, reduced invasiveness and increasing ease of use. Having a high-end Ferrari in your hands but not knowing how to use it is kind of a real waste.”
Building a partnership
Traditionally the role of a ‘medtech’ vendor involved selling equipment to a healthcare provider as and when they needed it, but that is now changing. With hospitals facing more pressure to provide quality and cost-effective care, the relationship with the industry is shifting from selling boxes to a relationship based on advice, close collaboration and risk sharing.
“Our desires in terms of vendor relationships really involve developmental pathways in general,” says Dr. Katzen. “We understand that we have an inherent commitment to innovation, and our field is also on a trajectory of change.”
The move away from a discussion based on product prices to one about collaborative thinking and the long-term strategic goals and ambitions of the organisation has been gradual but it is evolving.
Evolving with change
The Institute is now “part of the evolution” of health technologies, which has included providing valuable clinical insights to support the development of industry-leading solutions such as Philips Azurion Image Guided Therapy Systems platform.
“We need to have a vendor relationship that’s two-way, allowing us to participate in the development of that change, and also allowing us to be the beneficiaries of technology that’s going to help us in taking care of our patients,” says Dr. Katzen.
“The feedback loop between a vendor like Philips and us as operators and developers of clinical innovation has to be tight. The opportunities for taking care of patients are going to be changing and evolving, and we want to be part of that evolution.”