With many more people living longer but developing multiple, complex long-term conditions, it has become more important than ever to ensure health systems are fit for future. So how well are health systems across Europe meeting this challenge?
New research from the Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions explores the performance of six European countries and how they are tackling the health and care challenges they face. The report compares these health systems through the lens of seven ‘Vital Signs’ which are reflective of the whole patient journey.
We believe that by focusing on these vital signs and learning from the best practice of others, leaders across the healthcare setting can work towards making their goods and services fit for the future, and ultimately, delivering better healthcare for everyone.
Lifestyle factors including diet and exercise play an increasingly central role in public health and wellbeing.
Significant investments should be made in prevention methods, such as vaccination programs and disease screening. Utilizing digital health technologies can also help to improve health system efficiencies while also reducing inequalities.
Increasing demand from complex, co-morbid patients, and a shift in delivering that care closer to home means that the existing model of primary care is no longer fit for purpose. Primary care staff must adopt more collaborative working practices, both within the health system and in the wider community. In addition , there is a need for business models to integrate more innovative technologies to help drive efficiencies and improve patient care.
Hospital care makes up the largest proportion of healthcare spend in the majority of health systems. However, international studies estimate that around 30% of that spend is either inappropriate or unnecessary. Improving productivity must therefore be a key focus across European healthcare systems.
How a country cares for their dying is a litmus test of a good health system. With a rise in aging populations and more people developing serious chronic diseases, access to good palliative and end-of-life care is ever more important. However, few healthcare systems are suitably equipped to meet the needs of the patient and their family.
To provide more effective end-of-life treatment, healthcare systems must adopt comprehensive strategies with an agreed set of outcome measures. There is also a need to improve the knowledge and confidence of staff to enable them to hold meaningful end-of-life care discussions.
There are significant advantages to be gained by empowering patients to engage with decisions around their own healthcare. Patient engagement not only contributes to the achievement of a sustainable and cost effective healthcare system, it also improves the outcomes of the patients themselves.
This term is increasingly used in healthcare and yet is still not universally understood. We consider it a ‘must do’ if people across Europe are to enjoy equitable and sustainable healthcare. Delivery of a good Population Health Management strategy requires a shift in focus to encourage more collaborative working, sharing responsibility for that population’s health across relevant organizations and communities.
Innovative use of technology has a significant role to play in analyzing patient data and population behaviors.
Partnerships between industry, providers, and academia
Cross-industry partnerships can help foster excellence in areas such as basic research and innovation, leading to the development of new drugs and treatments.
By encouraging a collaborative environment, whether through government investment or the presence of a strong research infrastructure, we believe healthcare systems can provide better outcomes for patients and national health economies.