Webcast - Future of Healthcare
- Insights concerning key challenges and trends in the ever-changing healthcare environment
- Best practice examples
- Critical success factors in driving transformational change
In a time of rising healthcare costs and greater patient expectations, the fact that wide variability in outcomes still exists naturally stimulates debate about the future direction of healthcare. As a medical solutions provider, Olympus is keen to deepen our holistic understanding of the challenges our customers face and support them in identifying opportunities to drive positive change in healthcare provision.
In a recent webcast hosted by Paul Nunn, Head of Commercial Development at Olympus, experts from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Stockholm, posed the question, “What will healthcare delivery look like in the next five to ten years and what will change?” Watch the webcast to hear some perspectives on the future of healthcare, associated challenges and the critical success factors in driving transformational change in the European healthcare market.
Improving outcomes and reducing costs
Improving patient outcomes while managing costs are two clearly interlinked key challenges in healthcare. Although achieving both simultaneously may seem impossible, the concept of value-based Healthcare (VBHC) aims to do exactly that.
What is VBHC?
VBHC is described as a method for measuring and optimizing the health outcomes achieved for every Euro spent1. It is not a new idea but is often described as a common-sense definition of success in healthcare, providing an opportunity for all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to work together towards the same goal of delivering greater patient value.
What are the benefits of VBHC?
Given the wide variation in outcomes, treatment decisions and costs that exists between different providers, organizations, and countries around the world, the potential for VBHC to revolutionize the way healthcare organizations operate is huge. In parallel to this, as the level of digitalization increases and digital-first care becomes more widespread, there are clear opportunities for realizing synergies with VBHC.
VBHC requires the systematic measurement of specific and well-defined patient outcomes for different patient groups and/or population segments. This helps to ensure that the patient’s perspective forms the central tenet for the overarching goals of the healthcare system overall.
Key enablers for implementing VBHC
Although the concept of VBHC sounds promising and is gaining increasing support across Europe, its implementation is complex.
BCG led a high-profile project together with the World Economic Forum that focused on developing a roadmap for aligning all healthcare systems on a common assessment of value to facilitate the transition towards VBHC. This work identified five key enablers that support both local and system-wide implementation:
1. The ability to measure outcomes and costs through informatics is crucial for VBHC. Leveraging technology and digital solutions can help capture, analyze, and share health outcomes and data by population segment.
2. Benchmarking these outcomes for all stakeholders using digital tools is the next step towards standardization.
3. Armed with this data, healthcare organizations should commit to developing innovative solutions that better integrate healthcare delivery and the ability of whole systems to work coherently towards the same goals.
4. Incentivizing organizations and key stakeholders throughout a hospital organization and beyond is important. This could be, for example, a payment mechanism or reimbursement policy that rewards value rather than volume.
5. Policy that supports learning and continuous improvement is the overarching enabler for driving VBHC, both within an organization and on a system-wide level.
Next Steps for Providers: Putting VBHC into Practice
Putting VBHC into practice means starting to look at your healthcare organization from the perspective of distinct patient groups and BCG advises that the key is to start small. While system-wide change is a much longer and more complex process, pilot projects that identify one (or a few) priority patient groups stand a greater chance of success. For each patient group, define specific outcome and cost measures and then start to evaluate against these benchmark standards. From here, interdisciplinary teams can help drive continuous improvement and foster the evolution from individual patient groups to fundamental system transformation.
With the European healthcare sector facing unprecedented challenges, VBHC forms part of a concerted effort to ensure healthcare systems can effectively adapt. With more holistic strategies in place, transformational change is possible and with that, a brighter future for healthcare in Europe.