Nurses and Value-Based Healthcare

Nurses and Value-Based Healthcare

Posted on June 4, 2019

Value-Based Healthcare is a term that is often referred to by scholars and healthcare stakeholders when they discuss the need to transform our current healthcare systems into something that is value-driven and more efficient. However, there are as many definitions of “value” as people out there, even though they all share the same goals (i.e., to reduce waste of resources in the healthcare sector). Aiming to come up with an “European definition” of the term and a model of value-based healthcare applicable to the whole of the EU, the European Commission has given a mandate to an “Expert Panel on effective Ways of Investing in Health” (EXPH) to work on the topic and draft an opinion on it. In their opinion (which will be published at the end of June) they will lay-out a series of aspects to be considered as well as tangible results to be achieved to make a real value-based change on Europe’s healthcare systems.

The EXPH has organised today a hearing anticipating the results of their draft opinion on “Value-based healthcare”. For them, “value” is a multi-faceted term encompassing the European societal values of solidarity. They also proposed six long-term recommendations to implement value-based healthcare in the EU countries. These are:

  1. To ensure societal value by creating awareness of health as an essential investment for European society.
  2. To ensure all four pillars of values develop a long-term strategy.
  3. To ensure all four pillars of values support research and development on/of methodologies on appropriateness and unwarranted variation.
  4. To ensure that allocative and societal value support the creating of learning communities that bring together the best expertise, experiences and practices.
  5. To ensure that allocative and societal value encourage healthcare professionals to take responsibility and feel accountable for increasing value in healthcare.
  6. To ensure that personal value support patient’s initiatives for engagement in shared decision-making.

While the EFN welcomes and endorses all of these, these are insufficient and lack a series of concrete steps for stakeholders to take to implement operational value-based healthcare systems. The EFN, as a strong advocate in this field, has already published policy statements on value-based health, the need for investing in health, and patient empowerment. These should be considered together with the EXPH recommendations by the European Commission and all relevant EU stakeholders interested in healthcare.

In any value-based healthcare system, nurses will play a key role in bringing up the “value”. They are to a large extent responsible for the collection of healthcare data, and their work is intimately linked to health outcomes and patients’ experience. Hence, the EFN calls for more initiatives linking nursing to value-based approaches, leaving aside the traditional disease-oriented approaches, and putting the patient at the centre.