Monday, March 28, 2011

Does improving quality save money?

The instinctive answer is, "yes, of course." If only it were that easy. I am more and more coming around to the view that to change a complex system like healthcare will require radical restructuring, which will only happen in the Western World when we realise we can no longer afford to deliver our current service. It wont be easy, it wont be pleasant.
Levette has sent me a paper which suggests that improved quality and lower costs may not go hand in hand. Bottom line;

"The evidence suggests that there are ways of saving money at the same time as improving quality. But doing so on a large scale requires changes in how services are financed, and increasing the capability of ordinary services to make changes. Approaches that look effective in theory rarely seem to have the same impact when implemented in practice and on a large scale. In this respect, the challenges of achieving real finan- cial savings by improving quality and reducing waste are no different from any other attempt to change a complex system."

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