EHMA 2023 Annual Conference: Advancing Healthcare Management through Sustainable Solutions

The EHMA 2023 Annual Conference held in Rome from 5th to 7th June 2023 focused on « Health Management: sustainable solutions for complex systems. » Bringing together 400 healthcare representatives, the event addressed challenges posed by the digital revolution, climate change, and other threats to healthcare resilience and sustainability. The conference comprised five tracks covering various aspects of health management, facilitating discussions on contemporary topics.

Tracks and Topics:

  1. Governance, leadership, and social responsibility.
  2. Management, operations, and practice.
  3. Human capital, professionalism, and people management.
  4. Finance and economics.
  5. Policy and regulations.

These tracks explored themes such as people-centred systems, health technology, digital transformation, the workforce of the future, sustainable and resilient health systems, and healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes.

The Advancement in Cardiovascular Intervention:

The Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University, Germany presented a notable intervention at the conference. Researchers introduced a new way to predict outcomes for patients undergoing heart valve treatment known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). They utilized machine learning, an intelligent computer algorithm, to simplify decision-making for doctors and patients.

The study involved 284 patients (137 female) who had severe aortic valve stenosis and underwent Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). The researchers collected data on various factors before the procedure, such as ES II (a scoring system), EuroQol-5D-VAS  (EQ5DVAS), Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ), and clinical frailty scale (CFS). Additionally, the researchers recorded any acute complications occurring within 30 days after TAVI. The researchers used a CART (classification and regression tree) DTA algorithm to predict TAVI outcomes based on the collected data.

The algorithm results showed that patients with ESII values greater than >2.025 and experiencing any post-procedural complications had a 26.8% one-year mortality rate. Even patients without post-procedural complications but with ESII values above >2.025 and EQ5DVAS values below <32.29 had a 25.9% one-year mortality rate. For predicting length of hospital stay (LoS), KCCQ values less than or equal to 31.5 indicated that 63.9% of patients would have an LoS of more than 8 days. Additionally, the occurrence of any complications after TAVI led to an LoS of more than 8 days in 57.5% of patients with KCCQ values greater than >31.

The pilot study also found that the emergence of any acute complications resulted in 33.3% higher costs compared to patients without acute complications. Among patients without complications, those with a CFS value above 4 experienced 36.2% higher costs related to TAVI.

These predictions enable doctors to better plan and explain possible outcomes, making heart valve treatments safer and more predictable, improving patient outcomes, and ultimately optimizing medical resources.

The Netherlands Heart Network (NHN) Initiative:

Another significant project presented at the conference was the Netherlands Heart Network (NHN). This collaborative initiative involved healthcare providers from the southern region of the Netherlands, working together to enhance cardiac care through transmural collaboration. The network’s evaluation methodology considers multiple perspectives, with a strong focus on patient value.

The NHN’s Evaluation Methodology includes:

  1. Rigorous statistical analyses to examine the network’s impact on clinical outcomes and healthcare costs, providing insights into its effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. In-depth understanding of patient experiences through patient panels, ensuring patient-centric decision-making. The Patient Advisory Board and Harteraad, a national association of heart disease patients, contribute strategic feedback, shaping the NHN’s approach.
  3. Evaluation of healthcare professionals’ experiences in network collaboration, particularly in implementing regional transmural care standards across various domains.

The Netherlands Heart Network sets a pioneering example for advancing cardiovascular care through comprehensive evaluation and patient-centricity. By focusing on patient value and embracing innovative approaches, the NHN enhances healthcare outcomes and serves as a model for other countries seeking to improve their healthcare systems.

In conclusion, the EHMA 2023 Annual Conference showcased crucial projects that enhance technology capacity and digitalization to improve healthcare systems in the NHSs. The advancements in cardiovascular intervention and the Netherlands Heart Network initiative illustrate the importance of innovative approaches and patient-centricity in achieving sustainable and effective healthcare solutions helping to achieve positive patient outputs. These projects are paving the way for better patient care and successful healthcare management in the future and should be taken as best practices in countries that have not yet adopted similar systems.