Address by Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg marks launch of CIUSSS’s official commitment to Care Everywhere
The digital transformation now being undertaken by some of the world’s leading healthcare institutions, including CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, will result in nothing less than “an overhaul of the infrastructure of conventional medicine,” the CIUSSS’s directors and senior managers have been told.
“A paradigm shift is well under way, and Digital Health and AI are rapidly becoming inseparable from providing best-practice health care and social services,” Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, the CIUSSS’s President and CEO, said in an address to more than 50 of his colleagues on March 21.
“The emblematic places to start with are the iconic facilities of medicine—that is, hospitals and doctors’ offices. The need for hospitals will be greatly diminished and will be restricted to the care of the most acutely ill patients, who require intensive care and monitoring, including surgical procedures.”
In this respect, he said, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal has made great strides by launching a number of major projects that involve various forms of digital technology.
Dr. Rosenberg’s address kicked off the Strategic Vision Symposium, a two-day gathering at the Gelber Conference Centre to formally inaugurate the CIUSSS’s launch of Care Everywhere.
New logo unveiled
The event also saw the unveiling of the Care Everywhere logo (see sidebar), which will soon be appearing in numerous locations, including websites, signs, presentations, email and merchandising.
The logo is intended to help the public identify more readily with the CIUSSS, as well as serving as a focal point for staff as they continue to strengthen the bonds among the nearly three dozen facilities in the network.
In the user-centred approach of Care Everywhere, the goal is to achieve the right outcomes by giving top priority to providing users with the right health care and social services at the right time in the location that is most appropriate, safest and most convenient for them.
Over the past two to three years, the concept of Care Everywhere has been intrinsic to major, new CIUSSS projects such as the award-winning Hospital@Home program, the Connected Health Record, the award-winning Command Centre, and OROT.
However, it was at the Strategic Vision Symposium that Care Everywhere—envisioned and developed by Dr. Rosenberg and a group of senior CIUSSS advisors—officially became the driving force behind the network’s activities.
A “radical transformation” is how Dr. Rosenberg described the changes to health care that are taking place locally and at an increasing pace around the world. This overhaul is necessary, he explained, because:
- Current healthcare systems are unsustainable, due to the growing needs of aging populations and the increase in chronic illnesses.
- A staffing shortage exists in health care, with vacancies in 17.4 million positions globally.
- The evolution in digital technology is rapidly outpacing traditional healthcare systems and bureaucratic authorization systems. The market for all types of digital health technologies is expected to exceed (US) $379 billion next year.
Mapping the future
The great challenge, Dr. Rosenberg said, is to maintain momentum for change when “we find ourselves in a time of transition—a time when we are neither here nor there.
“This is neither a starting point nor a destination. It is a time of uncertainty that can invoke great anxiety. However, we will not stay in transition.”
“We are here to begin to map out how we move into a future that we want to create for ourselves.”Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg
Dr. Rosenberg noted that members of staff in all fields worked tirelessly to implement measures—including the accelerated introduction of telehealth—that enabled the CIUSSS to weather the COVID-19 pandemic “perhaps better than any other organization in Quebec.
“Thanks to you and your teams and our partnership with our physicians, our performance has been exceptional and, yes, award-winning.”
Dr. Rosenberg told his colleagues that the key to expanding the scope of Care Everywhere is to embrace the traits of people who have the mind-set of beginners. These qualities include enthusiasm, curiosity, optimism and the courage to try something daring and innovative, despite the skepticism of naysayers.
It was this idea that inspired the somewhat light-hearted title of his speech: “They Didn’t Know It Was Impossible…So They Did It!”
Fortunately, he added, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal is approaching problems from fresh perspectives, rather than simply hoping that timeworn procedures will be improved if they receive additional funding.
“It’s very hard to understand why spending even more money will improve results,” he said. “We [in Canada] are already spending the most of any of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries—and we have the worst results.” “Leadership can be lonely,” Dr. Rosenberg concluded, alluding not only to himself, but to members of the audience. “Yet you continue to do what you have to do, because you know that the majority is not always right and conventional wisdom is not always wise.”