Annual Report 2020 Accelerating digitalization of the Netherlands

All hands on deck

Case: Healthcare - OLVG Hospital Amsterdam
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Case OLVG Header2
Paul Bresser OLVG

Paul Bresser CMIO OLVG Hospital Amsterdam

“In the first week of March 2020, frustration reigned supreme at the OLVG. The approach to COVID-19 was like the plague in the Middle Ages: we locked people up and tried to prevent contact. There was nothing else we could do. We looked at the hospital in Den Bosch, where it was practically all hands on deck. Patient flow was unmanageable. We asked ourselves whether we could use new technology to regulate that flow and prevent healthcare from collapsing.

We were already familiar with digital care, such as apps that allow you to monitor and coach patients with a chronic condition. But it had a high bar for patients and healthcare providers. Contact would be less personal and it was complicated to set up.

During those first weeks in March, however, we had to be able to plan the care. And so the Corona Check app was born. Instead of people with symptoms going to their general practitioner or emergency clinic of their own accord, with all the attendant consequences, we were able to monitor them advise them based on the information they entered into the app and also schedule appointments if needed.

“The worries about digital care have largely been dispelled”

We had call center teams of up to 30 people at the ready at locations all over the country. They spent all day on the phone, mainly reassuring people. Of course that meant that we needed many of additional phone lines, making KPN indispensable for us.

The Corona Check app has now taken on a different form, as there is a lot more coronavirus testing is being done. What's more, it’s clear that concerns about digital care have largely been dispelled, both among patients and healthcare staff. It's nice to see that we were able to contribute to that.“

Nynke Dijkstra - Research nurse OLVG Hospital Amsterdam
”Initially, there were eight of us reviewing the reports that came in via the Corona Check app. But that number soon increased. People were panicking: they wanted to know whether they had COVID-19. Thanks to the app they felt that someone was looking out for them, and that was reassuring to them.“

Vinood KPN

Vinood Mangroelal EVP KPN Health

“Just before the first lockdown, KPN Health saw an immense increase in requests. These ranged from additional infrastructure capacity and emergency facilities to extra mobile phone masts. Everything was geared to keeping healthcare running. For employees it was a very intense time that sometimes passed in a blur. Not for a moment, however, did anyone decide that something could wait until tomorrow.

At one point we were asked by a hospital board to enable video communication in their intensive care unit. Family visits were no longer permitted and this technology allowed patients to say goodbye to family. That really made an impression on us and reminded us even more that we are doing work that really matters. It also inspires you to get things done.

“Digital healthcare is here to stay”

Digitalization has accelerated enormously over the past year, principally because there was simply no other way. For example, there was an approximately 60% increase in general practitioners using video consultations because they needed an alternative way of communicating with their patients. Many of the developments in digital healthcare will continue and I expect it an even greater boom.

COVID-19 has put tremendous pressure on the accessibility of healthcare, so it's important to continue digitalizing while maintaining personal contact to safeguard accessibility. Although that was already the mission of KPN Health, it has now become even more relevant than ever. We see clear opportunities for scaling up facilities such as video communication, remote measurements and smart data exchange so that, for example, certain triage does not have to be done twice. We're learning from the crisis and helping healthcare organizations to innovate further.“

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Case Novum Header2


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Integrated Annual Report 2020 Spread navigation / 12 MB Download
Integrated Annual Report 2020 Single navigation / 13 MB Download
KPN Verkort Jaarverslag 2020 / 1 MB Download
Consolidated Financial Statements / 44 KB Download
Social figures / 113 KB Download
Environmental figures / 316 KB Download
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