Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Ten clinician-driven strategies for maximising value of Australian health care

Ian Scott
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Qld 4102, Australia. Email: ian.scott@health.qld.gov.au

Australian Health Review 38(2) 125-133 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH13248
Submitted: 28 December 2013  Accepted: 6 April 2014   Published: 13 May 2014

Abstract

Objective To articulate the concept of high-value care (i.e. clinically relevant, patient-important benefit at lowest possible cost) and suggest strategies by which clinicians can promote such care in rendering the Australian healthcare system more affordable and sustainable.

Methods Strategies were developed by the author based on personal experience in clinical practice, evidence-based medicine and quality improvement. Relevant literature was reviewed in retrieving studies supporting each strategy.

Results Ten strategies were developed: (1) minimise errors in diagnosis; (2) discontinue low- or no-value practices that provide little benefit or cause harm; (3) defer the use of unproven interventions; (4) select care options according to comparative cost-effectiveness; (5) target clinical interventions to those who derive greatest benefit; (6) adopt a more conservative approach nearing the end of life; (7) actively involve patients in shared decision making and self-management; (8) minimise day-to-day operational waste; (9) convert healthcare institutions into rapidly learning organisations; and (10) advocate for integrated patient care across all clinical settings.

Conclusions Clinicians and their professional organisations, in partnership with managers, can implement strategies capable of maximising value and sustainability of health care in Australia.

What is known about this topic? Value-based care has emerged as a unitary concept that integrates quality and cost, and is being increasingly used to inform healthcare policy making and reform.

What does this paper add? There is scant literature that translates the concept of high value care into actionable enhancement strategies for clinicians in everyday practice settings. This article provides 10 strategies with supporting studies in an attempt to fill this gap.

What are the implications for practitioners? If all practitioners, in partnership with healthcare managers, attempted to enact all 10 strategies in their workplaces, a significant quantum of healthcare resources could be redirected from low- to high-value care, culminating in much greater health benefit from the healthcare dollars currently being spent. However, such reforms will require a shift in clinician thinking and practice away from volume-based care to value-based care.


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