Winter School 2019 – Managing digital innovation in healthcare

5-7 February 2019 - Kloster Eberbach, Germany


Today’s healthcare systems are confronted with new challenges and their managers are facing new pressures. Digital technologies can support addressing some of those challenges; enable better and more efficient healthcare; and wider access to medical expertise. Equally, eHealth innovations are influencing professional business interaction and ways of behaviour. Because education programmes rarely teach how to interact with new technologies and how they are influencing the healthcare systems, it is important for health professionals to gain new knowledge and skills on how to manage digital innovation in healthcare.

The EHMA Winter School is targeted specifically to young healthcare managers and professionals with a view to develop their managerial skills through competencies training addressing the impact of digitalisation in the field of healthcare. The EHMA Winter School will be held by experienced academics, who will provide interactive coaching sessions that target the application of transferable skills to the digitalising market while considering the political and economic framework of eHealth as well as the opportunities and limitations of IT technologies in healthcare. Ultimately, the attendees will understand the opportunities and risks of digitalisation and have the competencies to manage them.

What will you learn

  • The impact of digital innovation on health workforce and skill-mix by Prof. Dr. Walter Sermeus
    The session aims to understand the impact of digital innovation on jobs in the healthcare sector. What will be the impact on new competences and skill-mix? Which jobs will disappear? What will be the new jobs for the future? We will transform current data and future scenarios into a strategic health workforce plan for a health system or an healthcare organisation.
  • A new approach to developing Healthcare Leaders – Taking a global perspective whilst retaining regional and local practice by Dr. Stephen Brookes and Dr. Jill McCarthy
    This session will provide a unique opportunity for healthcare leaders to adapt, engage and apply their leadership capability with a focus on the leadership role in promoting and empowering Digital Innovation through an applied leadership challenge grounded in action learning.
  • Teleneurology – Integrating neurological expertise through digital innovation by Dr. Axel Kaehne
    The session will explore the use of technology in a neurological service facilitating an integrated care model between clinicians across acute treatment centres to increase shared clinical expertise and support clinical decision making to improve patient safety and patient outcomes.

How will you learn?

The Winter School will be organised into three interactive coaching sessions, set up in three small rotating groups so that each group will learn simultaneously and have exposure to the same topics. Each session will last around three hours and will focus on one or two core activities aimed at developing specific competencies. The EHMA Winter School coaching sessions will facilitate dynamic, student-led learning, while also ensuring guidance from coaches, so that participants feel secure and the learning process has direction. Hence, the coaches will involve themselves to an extent as direct lecturers to provide information for the participant-led interactive parts, which will be the principal focus.


Dr. Steve Brookes
View Details

Dr. Steve Brookes

Dr. Steve Brookes

Dr. Steve Brookes is Senior Fellow in public policy and management and specialises in leadership and organisational development. For six years, he was the  Programme Director for the MSc in Healthcare Management, which was relaunched in 2017 as the MSc International Healthcare Leadership and is a regular contributor to the full time and Global MBA. Stephen has a unique blend of experience at a senior level in the police, central and regional government, and local government. He also has a sound academic background, having completed his PhD in 2004 and increasingly publishing in academic journals and books and presenting papers at conferences. Immediately prior to his appointment at MBS Stephen was the Home Office Director for the Government Office for the East Midlands, which he undertook for almost six years. During this time Stephen had considerable experience in working with partnerships and supporting both performance improvement programmes and in facilitating and leading change.

Dr Axel Kaehne
View Details

Dr Axel Kaehne

Dr Axel Kaehne

Dr. Axel Kaehne took up a position of Research Fellow at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University in 2005 and joined Edge Hill as a Senior Research Fellow in April 2013. He was appointed Reader in Health Service Research in 2016 and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Integrated Care Research Interests. Dr. Kaehne was educated in Berlin (Germany) at Free University and Humboldt University and subsequently studied at Aberdeen University and the University of Wales. Dr. Kaehne has designed and delivered evaluations of health improvement programmes in England and Wales and is also member of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit at Alder Hey, the Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr. Jill McCarthy
View Details

Dr. Jill McCarthy

Dr. Jill McCarthy

Dr. Jill McCarthy is a Senior Lecturer in Health Management at Manchester Business School.  She is also an active member of the NHS Research Ethics Committee NorthWest, and is external examiner for postgraduate programmes at the University of West London including the PGCert in Strategic Workforce Planning and Developing Integrated Services module. In addition, she is a reviewer for Health and clinical text books and journals, including: Sage Publications; the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice; Nurse Education Today; and McMaster University Health Journals. With over twenty years’ experience in teaching health management and leadership, and related topics, Jill commenced her role at Manchester Business School in 2012 and has since been engaged in the design and delivery of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson MSc in Healthcare Leadership; she is one of the programme directors and lead for several cohorts within the programme.  Jill is also involved in undergraduate teaching within the Business School and research supervisor for both Masters’ and Doctoral students.

Prof. Dr. Walter Sermeus
View Details

Prof. Dr. Walter Sermeus

Prof. Dr. Walter Sermeus

Prof. Walter Sermeus is Professor of Healthcare Management at the Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, University of Leuven KU Leuven, Belgium. He is Program Director of the Master in Health Care Policy & Management and the Frances Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Toronto, Canada in 2015-16. He holds a PhD in Public Health, a MSc in Biostatistics, a MSc in Healthcare Management and a Nursing Sciences and a BA in Nursing. He was European Coordinator of the EU-FP7 RN4CAST-project, Nurse Forecasting in Europe 2009-2011. He is the member of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) and advising World Health Organization, European Union and European associations in Human Resources in Health. Prof. Sermeus is also Head of the KU Leuven WHO CC on Human Resources for Health Research & Policy.

Detailed Programme


The impact of digital innovation on health workforce and skill mix

The session aims to understand the impact of digital innovation on jobs in the healthcare sector. What will be the impact on new competences and skill-mix? Which jobs will disappear? What will be the new jobs for the future? We will transform current data and future scenarios into a strategic health workforce plan for a health system or an healthcare organisation.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understanding the impact of digital innovations on jobs in the healthcare sector. Will we have surpluses or shortages for some types of jobs?
  2. Understanding the impact of digitisation on new competencies and skill-mix.  For which jobs are we preparing new the future generations? What will be the new jobs of the future?

A new approach to developing healthcare leaders

Commonalities exist across global healthcare systems although these will have significantly different cultural and commissioner/provider relations (public/private/hybrid) and divergent governance arrangements. The session will briefly explore four golden threads that provide a unique opportunity for healthcare leaders to take an adaptive, engaging and applied approach to developing their leadership capability and capacity and share best practice through increased international awareness, networking and creative application. The focus for this session will be the leadership role in promoting and empowering Digital Innovation.  A pedagogy that combines the best of blended learning to enable healthcare professionals to work “at their own pace and in their own place” through cutting-edge approaches and application to leadership practice will be illustrated through an applied leadership challenge grounded in action learning.

Learning outcomes

  1. To gain an increasing awareness of the benefits and opportunities of networked leadership development by blending cutting-edge virtual learning with peer-led innovation and application within the theme of Digital Innovation.
  2. To explore how the patient can be at the heart of leader’s intentions whilst balancing this with the need for revenue-generating strategies and the extent to which Digital Innovation can support this.
  3. A greater understanding of the benefits of internationalisation rather than globalisation and the sharing of good practice and intelligence.
  4. To appreciate that learning and service improvement are “two sides of the same coin” and how to combine this through a pedagogy that combines the best of blended learning techniques and approaches that will last well beyond the programme of development itself.

Teleneurology – Integrating neurological expertise through digital innovation

The session will explore the use of technology in a neurological service facilitating an integrated care model between clinicians across acute treatment centres to increase shared clinical expertise and support clinical decision making to improve patient safety and patient outcomes.

Case Study

High quality patient care in neurological services is limited by two aspects: limited clinical practice and lack of expertise. The former develops as single practitioners are operating in acute centres with too few patients. The latter occurs where practitioners do not have the opportunity to link up with colleagues, discuss cases and cross check clinical decisions. The conventional answer of health care commissioners has been to establish centres of excellence. However, this often means that whilst some patients are being referred to these new centres, sole practitioners continue to operate in some acute centres, now with even fewer patients which, ultimately, increases the risks for malpractice.

In the North West of England, a centre of excellence has developed a hub and spoke model to address the issues of skills and expertise in regional providers. It utilised new technology to allow practitioners is other acute treatment centres to link up with their colleagues in the centre of excellence, discuss cases, shares patient notes and make clinical decisions collaboratively. The technology has been supported through a partnership agreement, additional investment in clinical capacity and resources as well as through agreements on patient care pathways and case management.

The case study will explore what has been necessary to develop the implementation of this integrated care model, the role of technology in establishing this new way of working, and any potential challenges along the way. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of the use of technology on governance arrangements, decision making, the role of the patient and clinician, and the metrics needed to measure the effect of the new model of care.

Learning outcomes

  1. To understand the impact of technology and digital innovation on clinical decision making, partnership work and integrated care solutions
  2. To explore the potential barriers and facilitators to implementation of technological solutions to health care problems, particularly in governance, collaborative and cross-organisational co-operation
  3. Be able to critically appraise the opportunities and challenges of digital innovation in care integration through a case study


The EHMA 2019 Winter School fees is 750 Euro per person (VAT excluded). It includes

  • 2-night accommodation and breakfast (Tuesday, 5 and Wednesday, 6 February 2019)
  • 3 lunches (Tuesday, 5; Wednesday, 6; and Thursday, 7 February 2019)
  • 2 social dinners (Tuesday, 5 and Wednesday, 6 February 2019)
  • Coffee breaks and meeting space
  • Study materials and training program.


We are not accepting registrations for this event.

You may transfer your booking to another participant at any time upon written notice to The transfer of booking does not apply to EHMAthoners or voucher holders. You have the right to cancel your booking at any time up to 14 January 2019. If written notice is received before 14 January 2019, your payment will be refunded in full. If we receive written notice after 14 January 2019 there will be no entitlement to any refund. To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post or e-mail). To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your notice of cancellation before the cancellation period has expired.

What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain