In an era in which both the population and the labour force is ageing fast, is our hospital capable of meeting the growing demand for high-quality, accessible, and affordable health care? The answer to this question – a resounding 'no' – prompted Maastricht UMC+ to embark upon a journey along The Road to Greater Value for Patients.
It certainly wasn't just MUMC+ that was falling behind; it was the entire Dutch health-care system. Continuing as normal would have eventually resulted in an unaffordable and inaccessible health-care system due to insufficient improvement of quality and efficiency.
In 2009, Frits van Merode concluded that quality and efficiency were stagnating both across the board and at MUMC+, despite sincere attempts at improvement. 'The willingness to change is definitely there, but there's a failure to convert the many discussions about necessary changes into concrete action. Reversing this situation and boosting implementational capability will be my greatest challenge,' said Van Merode at the time. Back then, as vice-dean of the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, he was a member of the MUMC+ Executive Board. Furthermore, in his capacity as a professor of Logistics and Operations within the health-care sector, he had already managed a variety of change processes within Dutch hospitals. Examples of such processes include modernizing patient logistics, designing building layouts, and reducing waiting lists. He was also highly motivated to turn his skills to his own hospital.
“At Maastricht UMC+, we're determined to provide greater value for patients and combat inefficiencies. These are the basic principles of our strategy, and we must shape and implement this strategy during the course of our regular operations. It's a development process.”Frits van Merode CIO Maastricht UMC+
The Executive Board placed their faith in him and agreed to two change processes in two departments, which laid the foundations for Operational Excellence.
Our journey was about to begin…!