Nikky Kortbeek, Co-Founder and CEO, Rhythm
To quote Dennis Wait, “Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted”. Human society has evolved much with time, but since “Health” remains an underrated subject of interest to date, it takes a lot of courage, patience, and perseverance to reconstruct and reform a traditional healthcare system. Only a man with diversified knowledge and an undying passion to serve can dare to ride on this magnanimous mission of transforming lives. One among the few such blessed souls is the eminent business personality Nikky Kortbeek, the Co-founder and CEO of Rhythm.
A gymnast, a psychologist, an M.Sc. in Operation Research& Management, a doctorate in Applied Mathematics, and a social and science enthusiast, who has also acquired an MBA degree in Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Health, Nikky has a long list of accomplishments to his credit. His expertise in healthcare research and logistics allowed him to nurture his talents at Amsterdam Medical Center, Amsterdam(AMC) and the Center for Healthcare Operations Improvement and Research of the University of Twente (CHOIR) as a professional in health, which accelerated the process of founding the standalone entity Rhythm in 2014.
Factors that triggered the rise of Rhythm
A successful leader is always a pathfinder who never fears to adopt ground-breaking ideas to bridge the gap between his dream and reality. Nikky Kortbeek’s long association with medical centres helped him gain knowledge of the drawbacks prevalent in modern healthcare sectors.
During the upcoming decades, healthcare organizations face the challenge to deliver more patient care, of higher quality, and with less financial and human resources.
Demand for and expenditures on healthcare increase steadily, as a result of ageing populations, technological developments, and increased medical knowledge. At the same time, patient expectations, competition between healthcare organizations, and labor shortages are rising. With current efficiency levels being insufficient to keep healthcare affordable and accessible, let alone to be able to increase its quality, a joint effort is required by policymakers, insurers, and care providers to fundamentally reconsider the way healthcare is delivered.
Nikky’s research on healthcare management demonstrates that mathematics and data science can play an essential role in addressing the tough logistical challenges healthcare organizations face. It proofs that healthcare organizations can benefit from giving quantitative methods a permanent position in their decision-making processes. However, since implementation of solutions often requires people to do things differently, it often meets with resistance. A prerequisite for successful implementation of results is that of healthcare practitioners and logistical experts working closely together. Nikky’s research efforts intend to build a bridge between science and practice.
The ability of healthcare institutions to absorb and put into practice the new ideas and solutions that have been and are being developed appears to be insufficient. The reason could be attributed to multiple factors as “Lacking collaboration between doctors, managers, universities, software suppliers, consultants; while multidisciplinary, learning each other’s languages, and acknowledging each other’s competencies and values…” agrees the leader. This gave a crushing blow to the emerging possibilities of the healthcare industry. Someone had to be bold enough to clear this clutter and hold the reins. Nikky’s extensive knowledge in this sector and his abiding commitment to work motivated him with the impetus to leverage this traditional slow-paced healthcare system and integrate scientific/theoretical knowledge into life; thus making a difference at Rhythm.
Overcoming challenges and reaching the milestone
Challenges make us grow. We need diversity of thoughts, consistency in effort, and firmness of purpose to sail through the deepest tides, which could bring out the best sailor in us. As a pioneer, Nikky Kortbeek too has to cross many barriers to translate his vision into reality. Finding the right co-partner, convincing them for working on the right combination of change management, software, and mathematics, and building a network of people with strong character and competence are some of the serious impediments that could have posed threats to his progress. “…it’s a constant puzzle to find the sweet pot of staying true to your original idea (and building on a consistent strategy), while also being responsive and keep learning from every experience you face practice”, remembers Nikky.
Rhythm- A Powerhouse in Healthcare
Keeping in view its burgeoning demand, in an era of technological revolution, it becomes imperative for the healthcare sector to cut down on costs and complications while providing state-of-the-art medical facilities. With this notion, Nikky Kortbeek, introduces Rhythm, aspin-off of the University of Twente, in collaboration with ORTEC.
How does Rhythm leverage the process of clinical therapy? The CEO confides in his thesis, “By creating clinical and logistical synergy, the outcomes support decision-makers in realizing the best possible use of the available resources”. The methodology of Integral Capacity Management is uniquely designed to optimize the practice of healthcare operations management systems and logistics in healthcare sectors. The Rhythmexpertise, which is a product of CHOIR, provides cutting-edge solutions at different levels of software and education, consulting, strategy and operations. The software, co-developed with ORTEC, applies quantitative methods in addressing complex logistical issues in the medical domain and utilizes mathematical modellingto enhance capital and labour productivity. The highly rewarding outcomes as paraphrased by the leader are, “less waiting, right patient on the right place, lower experienced workload and helping more patients with the same amount of capacity (so better financial health).” “This allows better and faster care to be delivered to patients, at lower costs”, adds Nikky.
The ethos that unites all in Rhythm
The culture of any successful organization would be such that it should appeal to the logic, passion, and ethics of the employees. At Rhythm, Nikky exhibits strong leadership in creating a harmonious, employee-centric workspace where the workers may learn and grow. “We always act as partners of healthcare professionals, acknowledging that we are facilitating / supportive to the doctor or nurse; working shoulder to shoulder, being approachable, and convinced that only together we can go the extra mile”, asserts the leader.
Virtues of a good leadership
For a prudent entrepreneur like Nikky Kortbeek, leadership is the art of steering the team towards the common goal and making them aware of achieving the imperative. As a leader, he stresses the qualities of flexibility, freedom in work, empathy, knowledge-intensive discipline, and clarity of thoughts and purposes. In a nonchalant tone of a judicious leader, Nikky contemplates on his ideas of true leadership, “Striving for a safe, modern, and cheerful workplace: transparent in sharing information, creating a higher level of trust, and promoting a sense of inclusion and belonging”.
The entrepreneur is now buckled up to set a world-wide example of making Netherland the place of pilgrimage of ICM, which would operate on Rhythm’s principles of optimal capacity planning. The motto is to help as many healthcare organizations all over the globe and provide world class treatment to the maximum number of people, thus creating a landmark in the history of integral capacity management in medical science. “My goal is to help and guide healthcare professionals making their organizations future-proof…In that way I’ve made a lasting contribution to make healthcare a smarter so that it has better access, better service is a better workplace while staying affordable”, echoes the leader.