The fact that we are getting older is very positive in itself, but it also leads to many changes. We are living longer with all kinds of ailments than, say, 50 years ago, not in the least because of our improved health care system. As people age, the needs around care, health and well-being continue to change and also vary more and more. Thus, traditional care needs are becoming increasingly complex and have long since ceased to be an exclusive care and health topic.
by Antwerp Management School
| March 13, 2018
When talking about health, care or well-being, we are talking about a world of organizations with a need for coordination and control. The changing needs of citizens mean that the healthcare landscape for these citizens has also become complex.
Where should they go?
Basha is 48, divorced and a mother of two sons. One of her sons has exhibited strange behavior from a young age. Basha knocked on the door of three different agencies, but none of them gave a full and satisfactory answer as to what exactly was going on with her son. After much uncertainty and visits to various care and social workers, her son was finally diagnosed with autism. This diagnosis was established by a psychiatric service at a neighboring hospital. Surprisingly, they did not offer counseling, so Basha had to look for appropriate support again.
Peggy is general manager of an assisted living facility. The care and support of one of her residents had a major impact on the family. This resident developed financial difficulties during her stay in an assisted living facility, and the family feared that this resident's legacy would evaporate. Consequently, the diagnosis of dementia hit them hard and put a lot of pressure on the family's relationships with one another. Unfortunately, this resulted in a family feud.
Dieter had to appear in court several times because his wife tried to take financial advantage of the difficult divorce. This all weighed very heavily on their children who themselves developed psychological difficulties. Because of the waiting list at the nearby Center for Mental Health (CGG), Dieter sought guidance from the Center for General Welfare Work (CAW). The CAW referred their son to another nearby CGG and their daughter to a psychologist.
For the sake of their privacy, the names of Basha, Peggy and Dieter have been changed. However, the depiction of their care trajectory is fact-based. These are some true cases of people who come into contact with care organizations in one way or another. Providing care and/or assistance is about people's health and well-being. This complex human task makes it a vocation for some and an organizational issue for others. However you look at it, today's healthcare landscape is undergoing major changes.
A world of systems and people
In this landscape, many different players have their own roles to play. For example, the residential care center specializes in dementia and palliative care services while the home care organization focuses more on family or family care. The general hospital decides to join together in a hospital network in order to thereby gain access to radiology for the patient without having to invest heavily. The general practitioner, originally trained as an omnipractitioner, behaves more and more as a gateway of access and selection, and the pharmacist fears that his profession will no longer exist tomorrow.
These characterizations vary by municipality, region or county, and so we are asking ourselves: who does what, how, why and when? On top of that, this healthcare system does not live in a vacuum. Quite the contrary, in fact. The fire department, police, justice, but also the municipal administration, trade unions, the Flemish and Federal government and Europe all interact with our care system. If we develop a realistic approach and organize together, we can meet bigger challenges.
Do you want more insights into how network organizations can provide a solution?