“Pull back & adjust course.”

From Radboudumc’s website of today : “Lucien Engelen resigns from Radboudumc as of January 1st. “

“Lucien Engelen, director of the Radboudumc REshape Center, has informed us that he will leave the Radboudumc on 1 January 2019. Lucien Engelen worked in the Radboudumc since 2007. He is the founder of the Radboudumc REshape Center, the birthplace of healthcare innovations. In this position, he had an important role in opening up the patient file, implementation of image consultations (Facetalk) and stood at the cradle of many innovative projects, such as continuous monitoring, adjustment of the training program for doctors and the establishment of the Health Innovation School. Partly thanks to his vision on the future of care and the formation of the Radboudumc REshape Center, Radboudumc is known as an innovative house.

Lucien Engelen wants to focus on the follow-up question that the current (inter) national developments in the field of digital transformation in ‘health’ entail. Engelen: “For a long time I have had a lot of fun working in a dynamic environment like the Radboudumc and got a lot of energy from it. And despite the incredible space and support from the Executive Board that I have been given for the past eleven years, I do not believe that I can answer the next question entirely from the care itself. Now that the iLab and the iBoard have been set up, further innovations, it is time for me to use my experience and network to connect the care and new players who force care to change “

The Board of Directors thanks Lucien Engelen for his unbridled dedication and his contribution to care innovations. In the coming period, a successor will be sought.

Leon van Halder CEO”

A more in depth background on my decision to resign:

After having been part of the EMS sector for decades, at the end of 2007 I wanted a piece of self-reflection and next making some choices. I had a great feeling that my work was done and that what I could bring to the table was ‘finished’, that other skills were needed for the next phase and I wanted to broaden my ambition and passion. After a number of conversations with people dear to me, as CEO of that Ambulance service, I made the transition from the entrepreneurial world and ambulance sector in 2007 into the beautiful Radboudumc and stepped into a challenging time for me. From my roles as Head of the Trauma Regio Oost and as advisor to the Executive Board, challenging new issues arose in which I could put my energy and drive. Developing a regional vision and transition to Acute Zorgregio Oost, ensuring that the ‘trauma’ helicopters could also fly in the dark were interesting mind-bogglers. Gradually, I was able to extend the Adviser role of the Executive Board role more and more into healthcare innovation, including the establishment of the REshape Center in 2010. With great pleasure, mandate and support, I have been allowed to explore healthcare of the future and to give back that knowledge to those who want to hear it and also to those who do not want to hear it (yet) / -)

In addition, I was able to give attention to the imminent change in the form of projects, lectures, conferences (like TEDx), setting up study trips (such as Exponential Medicine, where many initiatives have sprouted, such as new curriculum, the iLab, adapted ambition for the S -building etc), the hackathons that I was able to introduce from Canada in the Netherlands (which has grown into a National event by deploying my top team) and stimulating (new) talent.

Often in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (such as the cocreation of the Health Innovation School, which is now continuing on a national scale in regions), I was also able to connect other partners such as health insurers and industry with my (inter) national network. This allowed me to convert ideas into chances that sometimes were or will be taken over in short and sometimes only in the long (er) term. Although for some it seemed to be about ‘flashing lights and shiny logos’ or the implementation of concepts, our real work was influencing the culture and mindset from an existing paradigm to a (new) coming era; I often call it ‘preparing for a soft landing in the future’. Some ‘system interventions’ will therefore only confirm their value over a number of years. In addition, developments that were not yet on the agenda to be put on the agenda and especially ‘outside’ to ‘inside’ trying and the beautiful Radboudumc externally (again) on the map, I have been allowed to do with a lot of passion and pleasure. All of this has been done with both #patientsincluded and #nursesincluded.

With the most recent development – next to the REshape Center – the creation of the iLab which will be the next link onto the innovation chain of the Radboudumc, as well as the establishment of the iBoard that will try to coordinate internal innovation itself, a firm foundation has been laid. REshape was never intended and designed to scale up innovations so the next link was missed, which is now fixed!

After our recent move to another location (route 4-4-1, old labs Internal Medicine at level -1) where the REshape Center together with the iLab and the iBoard find their ‘home’, it is also for that reason that another excellent natural moment for self-reflection arises on the horizon. In this I believe that what I can contribute has been brought to a nice and thorough eco-system and, just as in 2007, found myself again asking whether my role here has not become redundant and that time has to do its job:  “grass can not be grown faster by pulling it”, as I call more often.

I like to work on the follow-up questions that the current (inter)national developments in the field of digital transformation in ‘health’ entail. I am therefore going to follow my passion, heart and brain and broaden my impact again, now outside the Radboudumc in an era where healthcare is ‘on the menu’ of many other players from outside the care, thereby bringing opportunities and challenges. I want to continue with my focus on ‘Scaling opportunities‘ instead of ‘scaling efficiency’, where both are badly needed in this moment in time.

Despite the energy and pleasure that I have long experienced in a dynamic environment like the Radboudumc and despite the incredible mandate and support from the Executive Board that I have received in the past 11 years (the last 8 years mainly from REshape), I do not believe that I can answer that follow-up question entirely from within healthcare itself. There the challenges are too big and, despite all the effort, too little recognized for. I do think the changes in healthcare require a different approach than usually shown, as i wrote in my new book: Augmented Health(care) ™, “The end of the beginning”

My new challenge is to develop a framework, as well as to find the answer to the question that has been asked me several times #howto? is my new challenge. Last November -after my sabbatical- I decided to leave Radboudumc for one day per week to preserve my energy level. Subsequently, in June this year I started working as the Global Strategist Digital Health for the Deloitte Center for the Edge (with offices in Amsterdam, Silicon Valley and Australia) for 1-2 days a week. Here I had the opportunity to learn from and learn together with their regular partners (such as Apple, Amazon, Singularity University, ING and others) and others about the transformations that have already taken place in other sectors or are still under way. What lies ahead, finding possible answers, concrete solutions with a whole team that is equipped to implement this global scale. The challenges I described above are central here.

This summer I announced to the board i will terminate my Radboudumc job as of January 1st, and I went exploring with a number of players in this field. My ambition is to be connected to an innovative healthcare institution for one day a week and for another day building energy and inspiration for myself to give back to others in keynotes, workshops and other sessions. In conversation with Deloitte the ‘click’ we experienced over the last months made us continue our relationship but now permanently and for three days a week or more if needed. Thus, my plan for the next 15 years …

I am very grateful to the Radboudumc, both current and former CEO’s and their collaegues and of course my colleagues like Ronald Lolkema for the mandate offered in these years. But also for their courage, vision and trust to dare to drive me forward as their scout, ambassador, frontrunner, spokesman and rebel. Everyone thinks they are innovative, but that requires more than making some money available, reading some books and putting up a sign “innovation center”. The majority of the things I was allowed to do have a long lead time before they will have the desired effect. There is a lot of ‘fog’ in healthcare in this area, it is also mainly about technology, money, ‘evidence’ or process, but especially about culture. The saying is “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and here we have invested a lot in recent years, which will gradually pay off. The organisation standing behind me and my team, even beyond the “7-year-itch” shows courage and vision. Finally, I am extremely grateful to my team: they were and are the fuel on which my engine is running, my North Star. To be able to guide them was an honor, a rollercoaster and a joy in one.

The Radboudumc will always remain ‘my’ University, that I will continue to follow in the beautiful journey that it will make with a vast foundation enrolled. I wish Radboudumc, in a world with all sliding panels in healthcare ‘on the menu of others’, a safe journey and especially a ‘soft landing in the future’.

Greetings Lucien