Why is the measurement of efficiency in health care so important, but equally challenging? And why is it especially so in primary care? This blog provides an overview of these well-known issues, and offers a glimpse into the results of a new OHE analysis of approaches to measure efficiency in primary care and recommendations for future research.
Case studies explored more and less successful practices when delivering healthcare across four priority areas (screening, disease management and standardised patient pathways, rational use of medicines and healthcare associated infections). Results were used to simulate cost-savings and patient outcomes that could potentially be realised with improvements in efficiency across the European Union of 27 countries and the United Kingdom.
OHE has been awarded a 3-year research grant by the Health Foundation’s Efficiency Research Programme to define an accurate measure of labour productivity in primary care and to identify its determinants, including workforce skill mix, technology and patient characteristics.
Although the quality of palliative care in England and the wider UK is regarded as excellent, many patients receiving palliative care die in pain. This new study estimates that more than 5,000 patients would die in pain every year even under the ‘best practice’ palliative care such as that provided in hospices.
In England, an estimated 378,427 people receive palliative care each year in a range of specialised and generalised services. Overall, the quality of palliative care in England and the wider UK is widely regarded as excellent. However, despite the generally high level of care, many patients receiving palliative care die in pain every year. Yet, to date, there is little evidence of the scale of this problem. This study estimates that currently there are approximately 125,971 end-of-life patients receiving, or in need of, palliative care suffering from unrelieved pain.
At the recent ISPOR Annual Conference, OHE’s Chief Executive, Professor Graham Cookson announced a new programme of work on Value 2.0: Assessing the Value of US Healthcare to be funded by PhRMA. Graham was joined by the Innovation and Value Institute’s Executive Director Jenn Bright, and Harvard Medical School Professor Bapu Jena.
Research just published in Public Administration Review, co-authored by OHE’s Professor Graham Cookson, demonstrates that contracting out auxiliary public services may lower the quality of the core service as well as the auxiliary service. Studying NHS cleaning services, the research shows that contracted out cleaning is cheaper but lower quality and leads to worse health outcomes including higher rates of hospital-acquired infections.