Everyone wants an efficient healthcare system (Guest blog)
Imagine a world in which every citizen could find the best healthcare organization for their health services. A patient should be able to find out which hospitals or clinics have the best outcomes for his or her particular disease or condition. Even though we, as patients, have the freedom of choice in Finland we rarely actually choose to use that.
In order to choose the best health provider for us, we need facts. And, to get the facts right, we need data. It is not exactly the lack of data that is stopping us from choosing. It’s more of a question, how to turn the data to relevant facts. And that is where the value-based healthcare comes along.
We don’t have one definition for value-based healthcare. For society, it means more or less how to keep everyone active and as part of the society. For the healthcare system, it is more a question of how to ensure the best health outcomes with the money spent. And for the patient, it is a matter to live as healthy life as long as possible.
We know that the healthcare costs are rising in the Western world, but can we also see the increase in value? The life expectancy is constantly rising. People tend to live a healthier life much longer than ever before. There are more and more diseases that can be cured, and more and more disease even treated.
This all might indicate that we actually get a return of investments in healthcare.
It all comes down in finding the right indicators
In Finland, for instance, we have been discussing the knowledge-based decision making. This discussion has brought us new legislation supporting access to relevant health data. As we have had health registries for decades the lack of data has not been the issue. It is more a question of finding the right indicators.
We have identified three different layers for healthcare indicators. Firstly, we need different indicators for measuring the whole healthcare system. Secondly, we need to measure the health outcomes for diseases. And of course, last but not least, we need different indicators to measure the health outcomes for a certain treatment or medication.
As everything in the end is turning into Big Data, with different questions depending on whether you are a patient or a payer, defining the right measurements becomes more and more relevant. We need national and international collaboration in forming and measuring the value-based healthcare.
One step was taken on Friday 14th September as we gathered in Helsinki to discuss Value Based Healthcare in the first Workshop arranged by EFPIA, ICHOM (International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement) and Pharma Industry Finland. The discussion will continue with the following workshops during this Autumn.