Yesterday Professor Michael Porter from Harvard Business School gave an inspiring lecture on Value Based Healthcare in Stockholm. In order to reach the ultimate goal of healthcare – increased value (outcomes) for the patients, he sees a need for re-design. Prof. Porter addressed six areas for the strategic agenda. Transformations are required to organize healthcare around the patient, to bundle payments to incorporate the whole care cycle, to specialize and concentrate healthcare and enable measurement of outcomes/costs and improved IT platforms.
So where to start – by measuring outcomes. Outcomes are a strong driver for learning and improvement. In the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and elsewhere, initiatives to measure outcomes are actually just now being implemented. The Sveus project in Sweden provides a great example, where healthcare providers are developing a new model for reimbursement of e.g. spine surgery and maternity care, by bundling the care cycle and including a performance bonus. He urged these early examples to carry through, adapt to challenges, and spread the learnings. Methods still vary substantially across initiatives, and partnering to set standards will help facilitate international comparison.