Net-Zero Health Care

Financial profit is not directly applicable to a public hospital or a public healthcare system.  If we define public service profitability as the ability to see more patients, prioritised by clinical need, at the right time and the right place, then the discussion is more relevant.

The retooling of the public health systems, utilising the required complementary assets, started during COVID-19, with the acceleration of digital medicine.  Telehealth and virtual clinics expanded and supported the prioritisation of patients visiting the hospital and the caring for and treating of patients remotely.  These assets were commercially developed and made a significant impact on care delivery.  One drawback is interconnectivity.  Systems often don’t talk to each other and lead to information/data gaps.  Interoperable information connectivity will be a key driver in maximising the impact of the changes already made.  

Secondly, the retooling of the care pathway, to be as low carbon or no carbon, if possible, is only starting.  The expertise to redefine the multiple different pathways is emerging in centralised places, like the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, but is in its infancy.  The granular data on the inputs (supplies/ consumables) at every stage of each pathway is slowly emerging.  

-Tommy Bracken, Ireland

Fascinating points, @Tommy Bracken, in that the digitilization of a service (through remote healthcare, if I’ve understood you correctly) which we once thought depended so much on in-person relationships sounds like the dilemma we’re also facing in the educational sector. Having lived through on-line and hybrid learning, we now know that education can be well-delivered via the relatively low-carbon medium of Zoom et al and we also know that something is invariably lost when on-campus learning disappears. Regarding school at least, I’m thinking we need to look even further outside of the box about our distribution channel complementary assets.

-Sean Lynch, Hong Kong