ICN continues to contribute to plans to reshape the ‘Hospital of the Future’

9 January 2024
WHO Hospital workshop 2023

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has continued to exert its influence on the future of health care in meetings with the World Health Organization (WHO).

At a workshop held towards the end of 2023, entitled Making Hospital’s Fit for Purpose, ICN policy officer Karine Lavoie contributed to the framing of a new vision for the future of hospitals and community healthcare.

The outcomes from the workshop will feed into a draft document with recommendations and further consultations on the topic.

Ms Lavoie said: “It was a great opportunity to be involved and to represent nursing in discussions about the model and strategy that will be chosen for developing the hospital of the future.”

Ms Lavoie said it was refreshing to see that ICN’s views on the development of health services and especially its work on leadership were acknowledged and valued.

“It was vital to emphasise the importance of maintaining a balance between primary health care services and hospital services on the road towards Universal Health Coverage.”

Ms Lavoie said she highlighted the importance of Advanced Practice Nursing and other specialist nurses and how including nurses withing all patient pathways was essential .

“Delegates at the workshops recognized the importance of searching for a solution to the global nursing workforce shortage, and it was reassuring of putting the patient at the centre of the care they receive.”

Ms Lavoie also attended a World Federation of Dentists workshop on improving care that addressed the links between oral health and other conditions and diseases, including oral cancers, diabetes, periodontal diseases, cardiac issues, obesity, and Alzheimer's Disease.

Ms Lavoie said: “From a nursing perspective, our approach to oral health revolves around prevention, promotion, intervention, care, and education. But it is important that we elevate the dialogue around these concepts to raise awareness regarding the ramifications of poor oral health and excessive sugar consumption.”

She said one example from Peru involved nurses checking children for dental cavities during their vaccination visits. The programme resulted in a reduction in the presence of cavities from 58% to 10% on children from zero to 4-year old.