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Cleveland Clinic's Innovation Summit

Having attended the Cleveland Clinics innovation summit and been fortunate to witness the culture and environment created by Cleveland Clinic by its employees, one can see how with a focus on supporting more applied health innovation in Hospitals, Ireland can begin to address many of the problems besetting our Hospitals and primary care systems.

America may have the most expensive healthcare system globally, but in terms of acute medicine it is also the best. This is because much of the system is a meritocracy and there is real competition and academic interest in pushing the barriers of science and practical understanding.

Ireland has always had clinical talent in abundance. However one cannot compare the conditions and equipment available to US surgeons, anaesthetists, physicians and critical care specialists to perform their roles versus our own health system.

There is a great opportunity to sponsor and support innovation "out" from healthcare staff (any) and recognise people who go the extra mile in support of their patients. Cleveland Clinic does not operate a private model per se although the patients and their insurers pay a great deal to go there. Many of the senior clinical staff are salaried and tenured. Despite this they clearly work extremely hard and everywhere one can see how they value teaching, continuous education, accreditation and most importantly their allied healthcare professionals - nurses, admin, porters and paramedical staff. Ireland can learn so many lessons from a visit here.