Current demographic changes are stimulating the demand for healthcare, making the problem of uneven access to its services more and more prevalent. Value based healthcare may be the answer to these issues and because of this, it is getting more and more supporters.
Value based healthcare – what is it?
This concept created by an economist Michael Porter focuses on quality rather than numbers of treatments provided for patients. What is more the main focus of this conception is prophylactic care. It is much cheaper compared to the costs of treatment of most chronic diseases like asthma or diabetes. With this approach the total of necessary appointments and medical examinations may be significantly reduced resulting in lower overall costs. Firstly to make it possible it is essential to employ new technologies Secondly, it is important to create new incentives for cooperation between different medical entities. However, the key factor for the proper functioning of this model is data sharing. Since any information collected from patients by various healthcare providers can help in pointing out recurring variables that are responsible for threats to patients' health. Addressing them may further improve healthcare and simultaneously reduce the costs. Based on these results it is easier to determine the best prophylactic care in cases with the high risk of complications. The increase in the number of positive results is dictated by cooperation of healthcare providers, who are working for a common purpose – well-being of patients.
Value based healthcare – key factors
Value based healthcare brings significant changes to the current healthcare approach. The focus on the quality of the treatment gathers many supporters, however its implementation is not that easy. The World Economic Forum defined the four main factors that are necessary to make such change:
- IT infrastructure – to successfully implement value based healthcare proper IT infrastructure is required. It is necessary for gathering, sharing and analysis of medical data. To improve the effectiveness of such systems it is also important for them to be unified for all entities
- Benchmarking, research and tools – regular comparison of test results is necessary for proper identification of best possible methods of the treatment. To archive it, it is necessary to employ new and advanced tools for improved decision making.
- Supply organisation – new organisation models can help suppliers in better adjustment to new possibilities, resulting in improved overall access to healthcare.
- Payments – Current model provides pay based on the number of conducted services. Sadly this results in higher profits from longer lasting diseases and therefore discourages effective treatment. Basing the payment solely on the results of the treatment may resolve this issue.
Value based healthcare – effects
In conclusion value based healthcare is still facing a number of challenges. However benefits that come out of its implementation are clearly visible and are not limited only to patients:
- Doctors have the ability to constantly improve their qualifications and also observe the work of other specialists to learn from their experience.
- Healthcare providers can observe fields where better results and lover costs are archived and to implement changes faster and more effectively.
- Patients can choose the doctor that best suits their needs basing their choice on previous results displayed by that specialist.