The Future Challenges of The Post-Bureaucratic Age

Most European patients are still experiencing the healthcare of yesterday in which the patient was patient, the doctor knew best and the technology was outdated. But the attitudes and drivers needed to push us into a new healthcare experience are coming fast. The leader of the British Conservative Party, David Cameron, has called this the ‘post bureaucratic age’. This is not as simple as ‘Google Government’ but it does rely on using new technology to revolutionise the way government interacts with citizens, moving to a more open, networked and participatory paradigm and away from the closed, top down, hierarchical ways of the past.

So what does this mean for e-health and for standards? E-health will become more prevalent – especially if it can be proven to save time and lower costs. Standards will also be required particularly to build patient trust and confidence in new technologies and help speed up the process of change. Photo: Stan ShelbsBut there are challenges. In the age of ‘post bureaucracy’ some IT solutions may revolutionise our systems – companies will compete more to provide e-health services and interoperability may be the most important factor in linking a set of diverse, bespoke e-health solutions. More open, networked systems may benefit the patient but it will be less easy for Governments to intervene or impose a single solution, which will affect which standards end up being widely used. And what of the many patients without any access to the internet – some of the poorest in society who have most need of health treatment? Will it be possible to engage them in the e-health age or will they simply be left behind?

Biography Helen Disney
Helen Disney is the chief executive and founder of the Stockholm Network.

She has over a decade’s experience of influencing public policy debates. Formerly an editoral writer for The Times and an editorial writer and commentator for the Daily Express, as CEO of the Stockholm Network she continues to write regularly on a range of public policy topics for newspapers, magazines and websites.

Helen’s cuttings include the Wall Street Journal Europe, Financial Times, Newsweek, The Times, the Daily Express and Sunday Express, Public Finance magazine, Public Service Magazine, as well as a range of other magazines, websites and trade press articles.

She has made regular appearances on TV and in radio debates including ‘Heart of the Matter’, ‘Kilroy’, BBC News, BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 4’s Talking Politics, the BBC World Service and 18 Doughty Street.com.

From 1996-2000, she worked at the Social Market Foundation, an independent pro-market think-tank in Westminster, where she was deputy director and editor of its quarterly journal.

She has contributed to and edited numerous think-tank publications including Impatient for Change, Poles Apart? and An Apology for Capitalism? published by the Stockholm Network.

She sits on the advisory board of the Centre for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), a US think tank and has advised many new think tanks on how to develop their influence on the media and public policy.

Helen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, Women in Journalism and the Women Writers Network and speaks fluent French and Italian.

She is married with a son, and lives and works in London.