Outpatient care development, bed cuts, patient flow to be regulated: the hospital is increasingly using start-ups to manage care pathways, despite the reluctance of caregivers.
It was listening to his wife, an anesthetist-resuscitator in Alsace, tell him in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the Covid crisis, the incessant calls from other establishments to find out if she had “available beds” that Roderick Ballan imagined his beginnings.
“I realized that communication between hospitals was non-existent”, says the biomedical engineer who wanted to “interconnect” health establishments thanks to his platform called MedBed360.
Since then, four hospitals in the Great East have adhered to this solution accessible to health establishments, Samu, regional health, allowing the filling of hospital vacancies in real time.
Faced with new organizational contingencies, hospitals, whose information systems are generally outdated, turn to young companies that offer solutions for managing patient care pathways.
– “Release beds” –
In September, the Foch hospital, in the Paris region, chose the start-up My Hospitel to develop a hospital accommodation platform that lists available rooms at partner hotels, for patients on the eve of hospitalization or their families.
“The objective is to free up beds within the hospital to accommodate other patients, mainly from emergencies”, details Philippe Guymarho, project director at Foch.
The company must accompany the establishment until the launch of its own hospital hotel.
For its part, La Poste, the main bank financier of public hospitals, is developing its portfolio of administrative management start-ups in the health sector. Recently, it acquired shares in Nouveal e-santé and Happytal, both specialized in digitizing the care pathway.
Nouveal manages pre-admission administration and post-operative outpatient telemonitoring for approximately 350 healthcare facilities. She is at the origin of the Covidom application that makes it possible to monitor patients affected by Covid at home.
Happytal, present in more than 400 structures, is a concierge service for patients that allows you to pre-admit or request a single room online.
“We want to help spread these new forms of relationship between patients and caregivers, hospitals need partners who come to provide them with tools”, says Delphine Mallet, director of the health and autonomy division of La Poste.
– Cultural shock –
To establish themselves in the hospital environment, these young companies need to overcome some barriers because health professionals are “reluctant” when they arrive, according to Arnaud Have, from Sia Partners consultancy. “A lot of times they’ve been forced to adapt to new tools, so there’s wear and tear. If the tool wastes their time, caregivers won’t use it.”
According to the Hospi’up guide, developed in 2021 by the French Federation of Hospitals to connect hospitals and start-ups, “72% of establishments have never worked with a start-up” and “60% of start-ups have found it difficult to work in a hospital center”.
Some caregivers look with disdain at the emergence of these start-ups whose pursuit of profitability they see as contrary to the mission of the public hospital.
Le Canard Enchaîné conveyed in the spring the distrust of the Paris hospital staff after AP-HP signed a contract with start-up Noé Santé to “optimize the average length of stay of patients”.
In 2019, France 2 also pointed the finger at Happytal’s commercial practices, of which La Poste is now “guarantor”, guarantees Delphine Mallet.
But the health crisis “broke the locks”, deciphers Arnaud Have. The emergence of digital technology in patient care is “a real underlying trend,” he said.