Eahm2019 | Focusing on innovation, including in terms of service

28th Congress of the European Association for hospital managers


Johnson & Johnson, which has been firmly established in the healthcare landscape for 130 years and situated in 126 countries with 132,000 employees, was really keen to be involved in the 28th European Association of Hospital Managers congress. We caught up with Fabrice Degenève, Managing Director Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson for Belgium and Luxembourg, and Pascale Degrève, Director Strategic Capabilities at Johnson & Johnson for Belgium and Luxembourg.

“We have been collaborating with the Belgian Association of Hospital Managers (BVZD-ABDH-BAHM) for quite a few years now, and we are very pleased with this collaboration! One of the things we especially like about the BAHM is the fact that they are so keen to be innovative. So for this European congress, where innovation is a central focus, it would have been inconceivable for Johnson & Johnson to miss out”, reports Pascale Degrève.

So Johnson & Johnson has done its utmost for this event, as its Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Paul Stoffels, will be delivering a keynote speech on the importance of innovation at the opening session of the congress. “We thought it was crucial that he should be able to make such an active contribution to the conference, given that he is head of innovation in the Johnson & Johnson group and has considerable influence over the big strategic decisions taken within the group”, comments Fabrice Degenève.

Focus on research and development

Innovation embodies the DNA of Johnson & Johnson, as its Managing Director Medical Devices puts it: “In 2016, Johnson & Johnson was in the top ten firms in the world in terms of levels of investment in Research & Development.”

“If we now look at Belgium, Johnson & Johnson also has a business start-up incubator, J-Lab, located in Beerse, which represents all the European region. So this tool is a sign of our strong commitment to innovate,” he continues.

Innovation in services

At Johnson & Johnson, innovation applies to services too. “During the congress we also want to focus on the innovation in services that we provide for hospitals. We are supporting hospitals in the improvement of patient care pathways and their hospital experience. Three topics will present our latest technologies with regards to following main themes: efficiency within the operating block; optimisation of patient care pathways at the lowest cost, and staff training (C SATs and Training by Virtual Reality),” explains Fabrice Degenève.

One example of the presence of J&J in physicians training is its recent acquisition of an American company C-SATs which helps young surgeons in their learning by filming them in action and then offering them a debriefing to help them improve their performances.

Furthermore, big data and artificial intelligence will also be essential features of tomorrow’s world. Fabrice Degenève comments: “The fact is that the data volume will increase exponentially. So one of the big challenges will be to control all this data transparently and optimise it to help improve patient treatment.”

J&J and hospital managers: a true partnership

And last but not least, Johnson & Johnson could not miss this conference as listening to each others needs is a fundamental pre-requisite in making innovation a reality. “the value of our partnership is by continuously engaging, transparently and constructively looking for solutions. It is actually the hospital managers who take the strategic decisions in the field, so it was fundamental for us to build ties with them to be able to make the right choices and fine-tune our offer in the interest of patient outcomes.

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