28 Feb 2019
Introduction by Croakey: Low-value healthcare is defined as that which “provides little or no benefit, may cause patient harm, or yields marginal benefits at a disproportionately high cost”.
A cohort study using NSW public hospital admission records recently sought to quantify at least some of the harms associated with seven types of low-value care. Researchers examined 16 types of hospital-acquired complications associated with 9,330 episodes of care across 225 hospitals during the three years from mid 2014.
For most procedures, the most common such complication was a health care-associated infection, which accounted for 26 percent of all complications observed and was associated with an increased length of time in hospital.
“Use of these seven low-value procedures is harming patients, consuming additional hospital resources, and potentially delaying care for other patients for whom the services would be appropriate,” the researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine (25 February).
“The full burden of low-value care for patients and the health system is yet to be quantified.”
It is timely, then, to hear from Steve Morris, Chief Executive Officer of NPS MedicineWise, about the latest Choosing Wisely Australia report investigating some of the drivers of unnecessary healthcare – as well as detailing some of the work tackling this problem.
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