Education: the key to changing the technology debate
Broadly speaking, there are three things needed to change a healthcare system: technology, finance and the right attitude. In Germany, the technology is there, the finance is there, but what is lacking is the real drive that says “we want to have a different kind of healthcare system.”
In a way, the shortage of HCPs faced by Germany – and by many other European countries – will help drive uptake of health technology. With fewer doctors doing more work, we will have additional incentives to look more seriously at how technology can lighten the load. In Germany, finding more money is much easier than finding more nurses, for example.
Building this motivation will take years, and has to start with education. I teach at the Hannover Medical School, and our attitude is the more technology the better. It is our aim to train nurses, doctors and pharmacists to be comfortable with technology throughout the healthcare system, wherever there is primary care. Nurturing this attitude within the workforce will take years, even decades, but in the absence of a major shock to the system, this ‘bottom up’ approach is the best route for Germany to a more dynamic and innovative healthcare sector.