Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Reducing costs and improving outcomes: ICHOM

International working groups of clinicians, registry leaders and patients have developed global reporting standards for common health conditions in a bid to reduce ballooning healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.
International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) has developed standardised reporting protocols called ‘Standard Sets’ for 21 conditions that represent 50 per cent of the global disease burden. These include conditions such as knee and hip osteoarthritis.

The School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine’s own A/Professor Ilana Ackerman was an invited member of the ICHOM working group that developed the Standard Set for hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is thought to affect around 2.2 million Australians and is more common in older people. It is caused by loss of cartilage in joints. The condition is a major cause of disability and reduction in quality of life and in many cases joint replacement surgery is needed.
A/Professor Ackerman says,
“Knee and hip replacements are expensive and while for many people they are effective, a number of patients are dissatisfied with the results and experience persistent pain or stiffness. By consistently monitoring outcomes we can identify patients who are not progressing as well as might be expected so that we can intervene appropriately.”
ICHOM believes that value-based healthcare can be achieved by measuring outcomes that are important to patients, to ensure that patients receive high quality care at the right time. 
At least one major private health insurer has supported the ICHOM Standard Sets and believes money can be saved by global standardisation. The HCF Research Foundation provided grant funding for A/Professor Ackerman’s current study at the Royal Melbourne Hospital looking at the feasibility of implementing the Standard Set for osteoarthritis in public and private settings. This is the only Australasian site in ICHOM’s GLOBE global benchmarking study, which is evaluating outcomes after joint replacement surgery across 20 sites around the world.
A/Professor Ackerman envisages that the Standard Set for osteoarthritis could be used as part of real-time reporting for clinicians. She says,
“When an orthopaedic surgeon reviews a patient in clinic after knee replacement, they could see the scores that the patient has provided before and after surgery and use these to inform shared decision-making and goal setting and plan for future clinical care.”
You can read more about this in this article from The Australian on 17th May 2017

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