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A conversation with Dr. Flutura Hasa

Dr. Flutura Hasa

Image credit: Courtesy of Dr. Flutura Hasa

This month we spoke with Dr. Flutura Hasa, Health Economics Leader at 3M Healthcare. Dr. Hasa shared with us her views on the main challenges faced nowadays by hospital procurement, the challenges for Invasive Home Mechanical Ventilation (IHMV) in Brazil as well as the importance of health economics and value-based healthcare.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started working at 3M Healthcare?

I graduated as a General Practitioner from the Faculty of Medicine at Mother Theresa University in Tirana, Albania, 22 years ago. Later I completed my residency and specialization in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit followed by a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Health Economics.

During my career as a practicing anesthesiologist, I worked in a trauma center and covered areas such as pain management and public health. At that time, I was also lecturing and teaching Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Mother Theresa University hospital in Tirana, Albania.

Working as a medical doctor and lecturer, I came into close contact with the 3M medical devices sales and clinical teams, getting their support and guidance on new medical solutions and its impact on millions of patients’ lives globally. Later the decision to join one of the top medical devices’ producers was pretty logical, as I felt I could do so much more working for innovative and trusted global leaders of breakthrough technologies.

I was the person who opened a first 3M office in Albania and worked there for 4 years. In 2013, I accepted a new offer within 3M. The position was based in Dubai, where I lead 3M Healthcare Business Group in Central East Europe and Middle East Africa areas with responsibility for 96 countries.

What are your current roles and responsibilities at 3M Healthcare?

I am Health Economics and Market Access Lead for Healthcare Business Group, responsible for health economics, reimbursement and market access for healthcare solutions including medical solutions, oral care solutions and health information systems.

We cooperate with medical professionals offering trusted solutions that prevent and control healthcare associated complications (HACs), helping them to manage costs and improve care with better patient outcomes while adhering to local, regional and global standards of care. It’s all about team work. Our main goals are to find best country specific patient care pathways and value-based healthcare framework, in which our technology could be adopted and is likely to have an impact.

One of our main areas of focus is encouraging hospitals’ key stakeholders to implement clinical infection control programs and patient-reported outcomes, health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) and its use in healthcare decisions, including training and Healthcare Academy continuous education for healthcare professionals, and sharing ongoing best practices of essential shift to value-based healthcare.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges faced by hospital procurement nowadays?

There are so many challenges. Our customers tell us their focus is on delivering high quality of patient care while preventing healthcare acquired complications, ensuring patient safety – and this all within tight resources and budget constraints.

The challenges are usually country-specific, and there is a high need to show data-driven patient management and value-based medicine. While hospitals are aiming to provide the highest possible quality, procurement and purchasing teams are facing increasingly higher cost and more budget pressures. Given this current environment, it is necessary for all key stakeholders, clinical patients and procurement groups to collaborate very closely.

3M’s aim is to partner all key stakeholders developing new solutions that address the needs of the physician, the patient, as well as the hospital managers and government leaders.

What are the main challenges for Invasive Home Mechanical Ventilation (IHMV) in Brazil?

Mechanical ventilation is indicated when there is dependence on ventilatory assistance by people who cannot breathe spontaneously due to neuromuscular diseases, trauma, and other injuries. It is said to be invasive when it is done with the use of devices that are connected to patients at the site of the tracheostomy (an artificial orifice surgically created in the trachea to allow for the passage of airflow). Home use requires the setting up of a minimum care structure and the follow-up with health teams, family and trained caregivers, as well as an assured background of emergency services and hospitals.

To date, only non-invasive home mechanical ventilation is included in the current legislation and public Reimbursement structure. However, for almost 20 years, SUS teams have been performing invasive home mechanical ventilation, mostly because of legal court orders. These teams showed us that with responsibility, good organization of care, and adequate background structure for complications, the IHMV is perfectly viable within the SUS. Thus, the main challenge is to disseminate the treatment in an orderly, safe, and supported manner considering our large, complex, and diverse national territory.

How do you see the importance of health economics and value-based healthcare?

In 3M, we see health economics and value as an alignment of cost, quality and performance, offering innovative breakthrough technologies. We are heavily engaged in extensive Healthcare Academy education and the training of healthcare professionals providing both clinical and economic evidence, which demonstrates how medical technology can save lives and lead to better patient outcomes.

3M is developing innovative solutions for preventing healthcare-associated infections with a view to reducing direct medical costs, becoming the forerunners on market access and value-based healthcare strategies, thus leading the way in achieving a value-based future globally and supporting hospitals in their mission to reduce Healthcare Acquired Complications to zero for better patient outcomes.

There is more and more recognition of 3M as leading the value-based healthcare approach, which is about the stimulation of healthcare systems (e.g. funding for R&D and demonstration projects, reward systems for hospitals with lowest infection rate etc.) to adopt innovative technological solutions that prevent HAIs and reduce costs, based on overall value (health outcomes, quality, service and cost) rather than to focus on cost alone.

How did you first approach Value Connected and what were the reasons for choosing Value Connected?

I found Value Connected through LinkedIn and was nicely surprised with their responsiveness and speed of communication. Ernesto Nogueira, the MD at Value Connected even offered to use his expertise at Value-based healthcare summits organized by 3M in partnership with some of the key hospitals’ professional teams within the Central East Europe and Middle East Africa area.

Value Connected really understands the landscape that we face today and the dynamic healthcare environment, so for 3M this is a win-win partnership. We are pleased with their attention to detail, their resource-driven and evidence-based approach, their analytical background and their best practice sharing with all key stakeholders, hospital procurement teams and clinicians.

How was your experience of working with Value Connected?

The experience was very positive for all involved - for 3M and our customers. We were able to learn things from different experiences, share best practices and hear customer voices during those valuable education summits.

Value Connected advised us to engage our customers and key stakeholders in value-based discussions, and to address customers’ needs using the customers’ voice directly throughout the whole process. As a result, our teams have been empowered to start new ventures and to engage with hospitals – helping them with cost savings and providing best in class innovative 3M solutions.