Dr. Arantza Álvarez de Arcaya from the Internal Medicine Service of the San Carlos Clinical University Hospital, participated in a round table at the 44th National Congress of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) titled “Hospitalism in the 21st century.” The discussion focused on the future of hospitals, the concept of a liquid hospital, and the role of the internist in the healthcare of the future.
Dr. Arantza Álvarez de Arcaya emphasized the need for a transformation in the healthcare system to adapt to the changing needs of society. She highlighted the importance of breaking organizational barriers and using new organizational formulas to provide care where people need it, regardless of their location. This concept of a liquid hospital involves taking the hospital to the patients, facilitated by technological advancements.
In terms of the profile of the internist in the healthcare of the future, Dr. Álvarez de Arcaya stressed the need for professionals with a global vision, capable of prioritizing and making decisions while considering the patient’s preferences and accompanying them throughout their entire disease process. She emphasized the importance of leadership, quality management, clinical safety, patient experience, and preferences as the pillars of the care model.
Regarding training, Dr. Álvarez de Arcaya highlighted the necessity of teaching not only scientific-technical issues but also skills such as leadership and communication. She stressed the importance of forming multiprofessional teams with patients and their caregivers and making decision-making a joint process. The need for more emphasis on leadership, communication, quality, and patient safety during conferences was also mentioned.
The round table concluded that the healthcare system must adapt to the current needs of society, which is highly complex not only from a clinical and social point of view. It was emphasized that social complexity should guide the decisions made, and organizational barriers must be broken to bring the hospital closer to where patients need it. The importance of applying clinical safety quality criteria and objectives, as well as evaluating results from the perspective of patients and professionals, was highlighted.
Lastly, the value of models such as shared care and home hospitalization was discussed. Shared care, involving a multiprofessional team that follows and accompanies the patient, was identified as key to the future of healthcare. Dr. Álvarez de Arcaya also emphasized the potential of technological advancements to facilitate home hospitalization, reducing the time spent in the hospital and the associated iatrogenicity.
Overall, the round table on hospitalism in the 21st century highlighted the need for a transformative approach to healthcare, guided by the changing needs of society and facilitated by technological advancements.