What Has 2020 Taught Us?
This year has been full of uncertainty, to say the least. However, there are always opportunities to learn something new, despite the challenging circumstances. We spoke with some of our team members about the things they learned in 2020. Here are their thoughts in brief...
A Year to Remember
Tomaž Gornik, Chief Executive Officer
2020 will be a year to remember! It made us re-think everything – how we live, travel, communicate, learn, eat, stay in shape, socialise, and, above all, how we work.
The jury on which new ways we will carry over into next year is still out, but we can already see glimpses of the new normal. And it’s not only us as individuals or companies; this year has had an even more profound effect on healthcare.
All evidence points to the fact that healthcare is among the last of the big industries to embrace digital technologies. While other sectors have mostly digitalised their processes, progress in healthcare has been slow. In fact, the fax machine would no longer exist if it were not for healthcare.
This year is proving to be a tipping point! All of a sudden, sweeping change is possible. Leaps in the adoption of virtual care, telemedicine, and collaboration software are the most visible, but other areas are progressing as well. The value of high quality, accessible health and care data is now well-understood. Siloed systems and vendors with business models based on locking in data are no longer acceptable.
Finally, the pandemic has exposed the effects of years of underinvesting in health IT, which governments are now rushing to address with extra funding.
We all see the enormous value in digitalising healthcare for all stakeholders. And we now have the imperative to do it.
A Year to Become Better
Tina V. Vavpotič, Leading Next Gen Application Development
"This is a year when the Earth stopped for a minute.
A year when we realised that we were closer to one another, regardless of the city, country, or continent. Albeit, physical distance became a thing again.
A year when everyone was fiercely tested as a person, citizen, parent, friend, and co-worker.
A year where, more than ever, we had to be clear on priorities; be they personal and business.
A year when we said that sometimes, good enough is enough.
A year when the whole world realised how important is to have a good health care system.
A year when health workers received much needed appreciation (also from healthy people).
A year when the health care industry was forced to overcome many fears and obstacles, and started to rely on digitalisation more freely.
A year when Better’s vision was even more relevant, broadly understood, and needed for future health and social care.
A year when we as a team, and Better as a company, became better."
The Rising Importance of Empathy
Roko Malkoč, Better Meds Business Unit Manager
"The world is collectively trying to navigate this uncertain and challenging time of COVID-19, and we can all sense the rising importance of empathy. Over the past few months, we have all learned new terms, such as social distancing, quarantine, and lockdown. It seems that all of humanity has started recognising what is most essential and urgent for us in this world – the well-being of our colleagues, friends, and family. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems widely recognised the fact that the use of digital health technologies could improve efficiency. All countries have pointed towards the importance of digital health, and in the last few months the role it can play has come into the spotlight. But, with digital health power comes great responsibility. Epidemiological surveillance systems based on real-world data, together with telemedicine and mobile health applications, all need to contribute transparently to the health and care service delivery system. Empathy for healthcare professionals should be at the root of all of products and content. And it feels like both the world and digital health products need an empathy revolution. Empathy is big."
Everything Revolves around the Team
Boris Marn, Better EHR Studio Lead
"One of the things I have learned this year is that digital health is more about people than technology: the patients, medical teams, and, most importantly, the people I work with. There is a certain feeling you get when you are a part of a great team. Everyone trusts each other, opinions are freely shared, and when somebody is in a bad spot, you know that all of the team members have his or her back. But, because we are a team in a company, friendship is not the only part of our great team. There is a clear vision of where we are, and what we want to achieve. There is a deep sense of purpose, and a collective belief that what we are doing is truly changing healthcare. Even though we spent half of this year working remotely, and we no longer drink morning coffee together, you can still feel this sense of purpose in every meeting. I can’t wait for the year 2021, as there are promises to keep, products to complete, and miles to go before we sleep."
Maintain a Personal Touch
Anže Droljc, Business Development Director
"2020 was a year of learning, a year of firsts, and a year where the majority of us were suddenly stranded at home; one obvious exception being healthcare workers who selflessly work day and night to help all of us – kudos to all of you! Although we have had to socially distance, I feel that the situation also brought us closer in many ways. I have never before spent so much time with my family. Even though I had to work, it was actually quite nice (although at times stressful...) and mostly pleasant to always have my three girls around. And, since we were all faced with the same situation, we showed our personal sides on work-related web-calls as well – we have all had meetings where someone’s kid stormed in, or a pet came crawling around, and it made the serious topics we were discussing a bit more personal. We all loved the experience, and it usually made us laugh. These unexpected situations also brought with them the urgent need to change and adapt to the new situation, and, in many areas, this had to be done overnight – from how we shop, work, and keep in contact with friends and family, to how we get medical attention if needed.
Healthcare was under the most stress during this pandemic. And, if that wasn’t enough, it was also an area that would make tremendous changes, practically overnight. Medical teams were faced with a big unknown, and had to learn on the go about what works and doesn’t. Any mistakes resulted in unnecessary complications, and even deaths.
New guidelines, best practices, and processes were revised and disseminated globally, almost daily. This is something I saw first-hand from my partner, who is a doctor. After a long day of working in the field with patients, I watched how, at the end of the day, she had to study the latest news and findings, so that she could improve her and her team’s approach for the next day. It made me wonder why we still couldn’t make it so that in healthcare IT any new knowledge, guidelines, or best practices could be quickly, seamlessly, and instantly shared across all levels of care, globally. This would be invaluable to everyone working in healthcare, not just during a pandemic, but also in “normal” times. This means that whatever worked best would immediately be available in any healthcare IT solution, without the need for programming or manual learning. Health and care make up an area where this kind of knowledge is readily shared, but today everyone needs to learn it, consume it, and program it individually. I feel this is an unnecessary waste of valuable time.
If there is anything I would like to take away from this year and share with you, it is that we should keep this personal touch when working, and spend more time with our families and friends. On a professional side, I hope we will maintain our momentum and the positive changes that took place in healthcare this year. So that we finally get to more personalised healthcare IT solutions which will really help medical teams in their complex work environments, and support the seamless sharing of data, knowledge, algorithms, and best practices."