Healthcare in New South Wales and worldwide is changing. Our population continues to grow, technology is advancing and health costs keep rising. The needs and expectations of patients, carers, healthcare providers and the community are also changing. Value based healthcare will help us to address these challenges and provides the opportunity to do things better in New South Wales.
Value based healthcare means continually striving to deliver services that improve health outcomes that matter to patients, patient experiences of receiving care, clinician experiences of providing care, effectiveness and efficiency of care. These are known as the four essentials of value.
Let's explore what value based healthcare looks like for a patient and healthcare providers. Meet Wendy. Wendy is living with two chronic health conditions that impact her daily activities. When Wendy gets sick, she visits her GP. Her GP coordinates her care and supports her to access the right specialist care when she needs it. This helps to keep Wendy well, which means more time at work and at home with her family and friends.
We know from our surveys that patients generally have a better experience of care when it is delivered in outpatient and community settings. Wendy's GPs, specialists, nurses and allied health professionals have a better experience of providing care because they're connected and feel more confident to support her by working together. The health system and Wendy also avoid unnecessary and costly hospital admissions. Of course, if Wendy is very sick, the emergency department is there for her.
All New South Wales Health staff have a role to play in thinking about value based healthcare. Clinicians need to ask, 'Am I providing care that's going to deliver the outcomes and experiences that matter most to this patient?' Services need to consider: 'Are we using available resources optimally to improve outcomes?' And at the system level, we need to consider if we are allocating resources and creating environments that enable the best outcomes for our community.
The journey to value based healthcare is a long term commitment, but we are developing structures and tools to help us on the journey. If we ask the right questions and use the data, tools and evidence available to us, value based healthcare will start to become business as usual. Together, we can work towards New South Wales Health's vision for a sustainable health system that delivers outcomes that matter to patients and the community, is personalised, invests in wellness and is digitally enabled. Visit the New South Wales Health website to learn more about value based healthcare in New South Wales.