We spoke to Jan-Kees van Wijnen, who graduated Cum Laude from our Business School in 2017. He is the Director of Care & Treatment at Stichting tanteLouise. The reason for our short interview was a Linkedin post covering the Chinese state television visit to the Stichting.
Why did the Chinese state television come to visit you?
At the end of 2018 there was an international congress on dementia in England where I was a guest together with our director and Minister, Hugo de Jong. The international audience was impressed by the presentation of our director. They were particularly pleased with the extent to which we had already introduced certain technological innovations and the fact that we not only talk about it, but that we implement it. Following this conference, we were invited to visit Shanghai last May.
Due to the ageing population, the number of people with dementia is expected to double within 25 years. This challenge is even greater in China, as the one-child policy and informal care makes it extra difficult. In the Netherlands we expect 3 million elderly people in need of help within 25 years. In China, there are now 200 million elderly people with a need for care, and that will grow to about 380 million in 25 years.
After our visit to China, several Chinese delegations have already come to visit our institution. These include people from health insurance, health care institutions, architects, as well as a documentary producer from Chinese state television. They came to see the innovations, but were also very impressed with the atmosphere.
Nursing homes in China look more like hospitals and are very clinical, whereas with us they look friendlier and more homely.
Did you see interesting things in China?
Yes, in a suburb of Shanghai, for example, care for 80,000 vulnerable elderly people is organized from a central location. They have divided the vulnerable elderly into three groups. The first group needs little help. They only receive a phone call once a day to hear how they are doing and to ask if they need anything else. The second group is monitored remotely, for example with a smartwatch. The third group also receives help at home. They do this with 1300 care providers. We do not achieve that ratio or that efficiency in the Netherlands.
Why is innovation so important in healthcare?
It is our vision that innovation will ensure that the quality of care can be maintained, even during the ageing of the population and without having to put more pressure on employees. People sometimes see technology as ‘cold’, but that is not justified. One example is the hip airbag that we use for elderly people with dementia. This airbag results in 50% less hip fractures, which means a lot less suffering. It also saves many hours of care. A person who breaks his hip needs 130 to 280 hours of extra care. Thanks to these types of innovations, healthcare remains future proof.
What did you learn in your MBA education?
The Action Learning approach, which was also an important reason for me to choose Business School Netherlands. Action Learning provides good dynamics, as well as surprising and refreshing ideas. I still apply it when we want to tackle a problem.
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