Dubai – MENA Herald: Investments in specialisation and preventative care may hold the key to improving both patient outcomes and hospital productivity, according to a London Business School expert. The findings come on the back of the recently announced Kuwait Development Plan (KDP) for 2015-2020, which outlines healthcare as a top government priority with sweeping reforms targeted at both improving services and reducing costs.
Nicos Savva, Associate Professor of Management Science and Operations, London Business School, argues that significant and sound investments like those outlined in Kuwait’s healthcare reforms can create one of the world’s most efficient healthcare systems, but only if policymakers and developers prioritise industry specialisation. Kuwait’s plans for the healthcare industry are backed by a US $4.2 billion slice of the KDP, involving the construction of nine additional hospitals and the creation of 15,000 new jobs.
“Kuwait should invest in two distinct types of facilities: large emergency-focused hospitals that treat complex patients whose conditions need immediate attention, and focused single service-line units that offer selective care,” explains Dr Savva.
“This regional configuration allows for specialisation to emerge, both in capital assets, which include operating theatres, diagnostic facilities and inpatient wards, and human capital, in the form of specialised physicians and nurses,” says Dr Savva.
“By reducing the variability in patient conditions at the focused facilities, it also allows for the standardisation of patient flows. Recent research from The Centre for Health Leadership and Enterprise at Cambridge Judge Business School co-authored by Dr Savva, which uses data collected in the United Kingdom, shows that this regional structure can improve both patient outcomes and productivity – a rare win-win situation.”
Dr Savva, whose research focuses on healthcare operations and has served as a consultant to hospitals and biotech companies around the world, also places an emphasis on preventative healthcare as a tool for improved efficiency.
“Although most costs occur at the hospital, investments in prevention and community care reduce the patient time spent in medical facilities and can prove to be more cost effective.”