Solutions driving change

MSD Belgium and Vlerick continue to tackle challenges in healthcare via new Knowledge Partnership

MSD Belgium recently entered into a Knowledge Partnership with Vlerick. The focus is on MSD’s membership of MINOZ, our research platform for hospital operations management, which brings together our researchers, representatives from hospitals, and healthcare industry partners. MSD has been a corporate partner and member of MINOZ for some years now. Jan Vertriest, Business Unit Director Immunology at MSD, explains why they wanted to continue their collaboration with us.

Against the backdrop of the changing economic situation, the healthcare environment is also transforming rapidly. The traditional go-to-market model of the pharmaceutical industry, which relied on blockbusters and continuous innovation, is eroding. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking to develop total healthcare solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare environment and their customers.

Many heads are better than one

Jan: “This is why we want to engage in partnerships with as many stakeholders as possible – to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing us, our customers and the healthcare sector in general, so that together we can find innovative solutions.

“What Vlerick has achieved with MINOZ is truly unique. It provides a sound academic framework and structured methodology to translate the information gathered from interactive working sessions and research into actionable insights and concrete action plans. Working together with representatives from hospitals and Vlerick researchers with specialist knowledge of process analysis and optimisation has enabled us to develop an in-depth understanding of the different functions and processes in a hospital environment.”

Improving the quality of care

This year’s research theme is “intensive care”. In the past MINOZ has conducted research on a variety of topics, the most recent being “the hospital reception” – analysing front-office and back-office operations – and “the hospital pharmacy of the future”. The latter resulted in a white book that was submitted to a wide audience, including other healthcare actors such as the Belgian National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (RIZIV) and health insurance funds.

Jan believes the research at MINOZ ties in with the current trend in healthcare to use quality indicators to measure and improve the standard of clinical care. “The Flemish government for one has adopted an accreditation system for hospitals based on a quality audit. Given this trend, I believe there’s plenty more scope for future research within MINOZ.”

Infectious openness

Why Vlerick? “Because of its reputation and vast expertise, of course, but even more so because few people would actually have managed to set up an initiative like MINOZ. Vlerick always tries to address a broad range of stakeholders, beyond the traditional boundaries. This is apparent in everything it does: its other research projects, Alumni Days, Healthcare Days and so on. It just makes you want to join in. Vlerick simply exudes openness – you feel it as soon as you go on campus.”

Personal and professional development

For MSD the advantage of the partnership goes beyond the obvious benefits that MINOZ membership brings, as Jan explains: “This partnership actually contributes to the personal and professional development of our people involved in the research and interactive sessions. Not only do they acquire more knowledge of the subject, they also learn to use the methodology and approach to handle these projects. As a partner, it’s also easier to discuss training and education requirements for our organisation. And last but not least, we have privileged access to Vlerick’s talented pool of young professionals.”

About MSD Belgium

MSD is a global leader in healthcare and has a strong desire to improve human and animal health and well-being. To that end, MSD provides innovative prescription medicines, vaccines, biological therapies and veterinary products. It works closely with its customers in more than 140 countries to help patients and give them the best possible medical solutions. In the US and Canada, MSD is known as Merck. In Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, MSD is one of the major players in the field of medical innovation with a wide range of activities: research, production and commercialisation. 

MINOZ becomes part of the Health Management Centre

In order to further strengthen our expertise in healthcare management, we recently set up a Health Management Centre, which will bundle all our networks, like MINOZ, and research projects on healthcare management. For more information, watch this introductory video on the Healthcare Management Centre (by Professor Walter Van Dyck and Leo Neels, Chairman of the Centre).