TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - There is a clear misalignment between what Canadians value from a health perspective, and how health system performance is measured and funded, according to new research presented today by the International Centre for Health Innovation (the Centre) at the Richard Ivey School of Business. To achieve greater value for health system costs in Canada and achieve transformational change, the paper suggests that the values of Canadians and those that underpin health systems must align.
"The research findings confirm that Canadian values related to health care have shifted in recent years towards a desire for greater autonomy and empowerment in managing their wellness and health," said Dr. Anne Snowdon, Chair of the Centre. "This means Canadians want a health care system focused on quality of life, health and wellness, and one in which the patient is the core priority, yet we have health care systems that are funded and measured based on an entirely different set of criteria."
The study identifies in detail the misalignment between Canadians' values and how the system is currently designed, organized, funded, and evaluated. For example, the values of Canadians are not currently captured in health system costing data or funding models. Health system costs are focused on the "inputs" of Canadian health systems (i.e., cost of drugs prescribed, cost of hospital services) and are not associated with outcomes of health systems that may reflect or align with Canadian values. In addition, current measures of health system performance focus primarily on access to care, and quality outcomes that identify hospital-related adverse events. Health systems rely on performance measures in terms of safety, and risk associated with hospitalizations. There is very little evidence that Canadians' values are represented in the current performance measurement or evaluation frameworks.