Posted by: ihfgeneva | June 5, 2013

Health Promotion in Hospitals: Part of a Care Program.

The International Hospital Federation participated in the 21st International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) that took place in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The conference gathered top international health speakers and experts along with experienced member of the HPH to attend several key issues in healthcare.

Topics such as Patient-reported outcome measurements, patient empowerment, effects of hospital design on the health of patients and staff were discussed with the goal to project the decisions into future action.

Mr. Eric de Roodenbeke, CEO of the IHF, had the opportunity to deliver a presentation on Health Promotion on Hospitals and its critical role in prevention.

During the speech, Mr. de Roodenbeke stated that in the past, hospitals have always recognized the importance of health promotion and education but this has never been its core business and some key reasons exist behind this. Hospital activities have been driven by fast evolving technology change supporting clinical intervention impacting positively health outcomes.

Prevention and health promotion was either specialized or opportunistic. It was specialized in areas where solid evidence was supporting the importance of targeted intervention relying on the know how of hospital units. It was opportunistic as patients going through hospitals could be exposed to health promoting messages.

However, given the present conditions of healthcare, Mr. de Roodenbeke pointed out that we are on the onset of a major paradigm shift that will drive hospitals to integrate health promotion as part of its services to the population.

According to the CEO of IHF, this paradigm shift results from 5 major evolutions present at different level and pace all around the world:

  • The need for care in the population is evolving with a major growth of ageing patients requiring attention for multi-chronic conditions.
  • The fast development of genomics with drastic reduction of costs that will be changing quickly the approach on health risk management along with the likelihood of the genomic medicine to merge health prevention and health promotion when genomic profiles are constructed which will eventually be provided for all individuals.
  • The development of Electronic Health Records that will play a major role to integrate coordination of care and the development of such records being accelerated with the implementation of cloud computing.
  • The increased level of education and continuous empowerment of individuals, at least in most OECD countries, that goes along with a better recognition that people have a central role for their health.
  • The universal health coverage which is common in European countries, is becoming a major international agenda.

Along with these key 5 elements, the transition of health promotion, as stated by Mr. de Roodenbeke, Hospitals will also dramatically change as they will become hubs for health information management, specialized intervention and mobilization of adequate resources in support to person situation.

Lastly, it was reminded that Health Promotion needs to stop having an opportunistic approach and must become part of a care program in Hospitals as the capacity that these may have to evolve, will determine whether they will become major players acting as a facilitator to needed transformations.

The participation of the International Hospital Federation is possible thanks to the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that was made between the IHF and the HPH in the month of March.


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