Technology & Leadership: Leander de Laporte's Vision in 2022
As co-founder of Medbelle, Leander's vision for the company has gone from strength to strength, but its core values have remained the same. Learn more about Leander's goals for the coming year and what's next for the digital hospital.
Written by Medical Quality Officer, David Jones , MPharm
Published: Thursday, 6 January 2022
What is value-based care, what does it mean to you & what is Medbelle doing to provide this?
The main idea is to make sure that we actually should all get great care for our money. The problem in today's world is that doctors and hospitals are paid for providing care by the hour or appointment - not based on the actual results. And while most clinicians would never consciously do something unnecessary or bad, it creates systemic financial incentives for more care, not better care. We can see that in the data healthcare costs have grown above GDP consistently over the last 20 years and higher spending is not directly related to better care.
Value-based care says that we should optimise for value. Value means outcomes - and that includes both medical outcomes and patient experience - for costs. I believe that by properly measuring value and then rewarding value-based care financially, we can get better care for less spending. In practice, this means that we pay for things like not operating when it's not necessary, prevention when it can help, seeing the right doctor first. Ultimately, we get more for less.
This year what challenges have you faced & how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge has been building trust in Medbelle’s brand, especially when approaching large medical corporations and providers. The ability to confidently explain what we do and how it benefits all aspects of the system is something we have developed. We want patients to understand that their care will be managed seamlessly and we want clinicians to appreciate how their processes will be simplified thereby making their job easier.
Within the office, it’s, of course, making sure all staff are supported, especially when working remotely due to the effects of the last two years. I want them to feel secure that the company has their best interest at heart and their mental health is being looked after.
You spoke at our first face-to-face Medbelle event with our different partners, what did this mean to you and what were the particular highlights?
The highlight was gathering with like-minded individuals and experts within the field. The opportunity to be face to face and engage in conversation in a social environment. It's nice to explain why we're building Medbelle to everyone to make sure they understand we want to do something for the greater good and not simply for profit. I enjoyed speaking to our partners and surgeons about real patients. Seeing what troubles them, what works, what can be improved. For example, Lee Breakwell has explained to physiotherapists which symptoms in conjunction with back pain should be seen as red flags - and we were able to discuss how the triage and referral process could be optimised.
What new projects are you excited about working on?
I have always been passionate about technology and we have a bigger technological project coming up. In 2022, we will build out our Medbelle Operating System to become a best-in-class care management tool for secondary care. It will enable consultant surgeons to streamline their admin, manage quality in a more transparent way, and augment their team with Medbelle’s patient care advisers in an instant. Ultimately, I think we will be able to set some benchmarks for expectations on quality and experience for the care of the future.
Medbelle was founded a little over five and a half years ago, how has Medbelle changed since those early years and have the values of Medbelle also evolved?
There have been lots of changes within Medbelle but we’ve always had the same ambitions and values since the start: Use technology to enable better experiences, better outcomes, higher efficiency in secondary care. Just the way in which we achieve them has developed: Initially, we have heavily focused on patient needs and their experience. Over time, we’ve learnt more about how we can improve quality of care and the efficiency of our healthcare system - shifting our focus to value-based care. The technology we’ve built and used has adapted as we’ve expanded and had more data to observe, likewise the partnerships we have built with other healthcare companies have exploded and allowed us to take control of many more aspects of care. All of this means we can monitor, measure and continuously grow.
How do you go about inspiring others to join you in the company’s mission?
We are tackling one of the biggest issues of our time. Value-based care has been discussed for years but needs technology at its core to be realised - and we are actually doing that. We have the direction as well as the team and the supporters that bring the skills to really make awesome healthcare at lower costs a reality. We want to work with like-minded people who truly care about making a positive difference for patients.
What has the role as co-founder taught you about yourself? About healthcare?
I love solving problems that I think are meaningful. I prefer solving a problem, especially if technology-related, over watching a TV series or a social getaway etc. One of the happiest memories for me still is sitting in the office alone on a Saturday and building the new patient app dashboard or building the first surgeon interface over a weekend. I love learning about how healthcare works, both in processes and from a medical perspective, but also smaller things in all other dimensions, whether business intelligence, a specific procedure or a new way to communicate. I've been lucky to learn a lot from more senior people than me in our team and our board.
In regards to healthcare, it’s one of the most complex systems to solve, which is why I love it. Trust is key, for patients, hospitals and clinicians alike and I know we have a long way to go when it comes to true digitalisation.
We call ourselves a digital hospital, how does the technology we’ve built support our mission? How has it developed?
On a high level, we're not so different from a traditional hospital, just without the constraints of bricks and mortar. I think there are two main things that make Medbelle a digital hospital:
1. A curated network of consultants and facilities based on metrics that take us nearer our mission of raising the standard of healthcare for all.
2. Our technology enables 21st-century care differentiates us in three ways:
- Streamlined pathways - digital patient records, digital imaging access, fast exchange of information across all stakeholders (GP, physio, secretary, Medbelle team, surgeon, hospital).
- An unparalleled patient experience - personal web-app and internal technology to enable our dedicated patient care advisers to offer a concierge service that allows for all appointment scheduling, clear next steps, and makes patients feel heard and valued.
- Systematic collection of data including outcomes, experiences and utilisation metrics that gives constant feedback to clinicians - the backbone to optimise for value-based care.
What goals are you setting yourself for 2022, professionally & personally?
My professional goal would be to make Medbelle OS the most amazing piece of software to support secondary care - both from an administrative, experience and value-optimisation perspective. The software we have created here has evolved so much to help us - our Patient Care Advisers, surgeons and operations teamwork as effortlessly as possible. We have learnt so much about how hospitals and clinicians operate so we want our OS to reflect that, make it fully available to our partner providers and streamline processes that can only improve the deliverance of secondary care.
Personally, I want to take some time out to travel to Vietnam with my girlfriend, she is Vietnamese and I want to explore her cultural roots together with her. I haven’t had much chance to get away so I’m hoping it will be possible next year.
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