Value-Based Healthcare is snowballing its way into the gateways of many healthcare systems across the world. We believe that simulation used for refining and verifying interventional skills should play a significant part in shaping the future for Value-Based Healthcare. In this blog article, I will discuss Value-Based Healthcare from a Mentice perspective; continuous skills development and assessment using high fidelity simulation solutions.
Today’s situation for healthcare systems around the globe
Let’s start by looking at today’s situation for healthcare systems around the globe. The healthcare systems in the developed part of the world are operating on a healthcare cost of about ten to nineteen percent of GDP, which is considered by many to be too much. Yet we know that with our aging population and new treatments available we might experience healthcare cost increases of 80 to 100 percent over the next 30 years.
The population is aging and new technologies bring new possibilities
We have an aging population and the mix between the "productive" and retired population will shift radically over the next couple of decades. We have high expectations for quality of life up to very high ages and we should expect 95-year-olds wanting to run marathons or ski the alps. With new fantastic and innovative medical devices this is already feasible and we can see that these developments are very rapid. Today, we can treat more medical conditions than ever before. As one example, we can replace the heart valve of a 95-year-old patient using a minimally invasive approach. Ten to fifteen years ago this was not possible. While this is incredible, it obviously also increases the overall cost of healthcare, pushing the bulk of the cost to the higher age bracket.
Value-Based Healthcare - measuring the value for patients
Professor Michael Porter at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Harvard Business School, has dedicated the last ten years trying to find solutions for the challenges in healthcare. Porter is one of the world’s most recognized experts in business and competitive strategy, having advised several US presidents, he has worked in many different industries guiding world leading corporations and even countries, in their strategies around healthcare.
Porter has developed a concept called Value-Based Healthcare, which can be described as a framework for reconstructing health care systems around the globe with the overarching goal of improving value for patients. Porter suggests that healthcare systems must move away from measuring individual service activities, and towards measuring the outcome of that service, which is effectively the value for patients. This implies taking responsibility for the patient throughout the complete treatment cycle. Porter stresses that, it is this process, for which hospitals should be measured - not for the individual services provided.
A lot of the consolidation in the healthcare arena in the last two decades has been focused on reducing cost and creating cost synergies. Once again Porter would suggest this is not enough and we will not reach our objectives with such an approach. Value-Based Healthcare aims to leverage new technology, processes and techniques to improve outcomes while reducing cost.
Value-Based Healthcare from a Mentice perspective
At Mentice, we acknowledge and truly believe that education and skill acquisition is a key factor for healthcare providers to be able to drive value and simulation is a disruptive technology that clearly can help providers build such structure. The prevailing method today is still the 100 year old apprentice model where training is performed in the clinical practice, it is argued that this method is no longer sufficient or even acceptable since it is compromising patient safety and quality of the clinical practice.
Endovascular simulation training should be an integrated part of the daily practice
Initial clinical education is mandatory for physicians, made more critical with rapidly changing technologies and new treatment modalities. Throughout the careers of physicians and their teams, ongoing professional skill refinement is in increasingly considered an essential component. Emergency decision making, sophisticated clinical strategies and technique refinement are the emerging trends in simulation, offering tremendous value for individuals and clinical teams of all skill levels. Simulation, once considered for the sole application of basic skill adoption, is today proving to be irrefutably valuable across a spectrum of healthcare providers of wide ranging experience.
High fidelity interventional simulation solutions have the unique capability to objectively assess its users by using metrics (measurements) generated by the system. This is a key aspect of training to move from providing just an educational experience, to driving skills to a predefined level using an objective assessment. This would deliver a significant impact, enabling training to reduce the requirement of a proctor to supervise the activity to offer guidance and assessment. Using the full capability of a high fidelity training tool, simulation can provide both guidance and assessment during and after a training session. It is all in the metrics, if you do not measure it is very hard to assess the result of the training.
Virtual reality simulators solve problems and bring value to the table
As Porter states, health providers need to stop organizing themselves around what doctors are doing and develop a common approach towards the needs of each patient. To sum up, simulation training does not only pave the way for new and improved procedures. We also believe it plays a significant part in shaping the future for Value-Based Healthcare.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. What is your opinion on the subject? I am interested in your thoughts! Please leave a comment in the field below. Also, feel free to share my article in social media or contact me with any questions.