Value-Based Healthcare is a term often referred to by politicians and scholars when they discuss the need and means to transform our current healthcare systems with a value-driven approach. However, in the existing healthcare literature, there are many different definitions of “value”, even though they all come up to similar conclusions (i.e., the need to reduce waste of resources in the healthcare sector). Aiming to come up with an “European definition” of the term and a model of value-based healthcare applicable to the whole of the EU, the European Commission has given a mandate to the “Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health” (EXPH) to work on the topic and draft an opinion on it.
The Commission EXPH anticipated the results of their draft opinion (which final version will be published at the end of June) in a hearing on “Value-based healthcare”, highlighting that, for them, “value” is a multi-faceted term encompassing personal, technical, allocative and societal values. For achieving value-based healthcare systems, they also proposed six long-term recommendations to be implemented across EU countries. The ENRF is particularly interested in the 3rd recommendation:
“Recommendation 3 (to ensure that all four pillars of values: personal, technical, allocative and societal value): Support Research & Development on/of methodologies on appropriateness and unwarranted variation.”
As examples of actions to apply this recommendation, they propose 1) creating a fora for exchange on measuring and monitoring patterns of clinical practice, regional variation, appropriateness research (specifically in multi-morbidities) and inequity by disease as a basis for a potential reallocate resources, and 2) stimulating data analyses and the use of quality registries for identification of regional variation and outcomes.
The ENRF welcomes these, as nursing research plays a key role in giving “value” to “value-based healthcare”. However, this recommendation should go further beyond its current state and enhance even more the role of research, and particularly nursing research, in the transformation of our healthcare system towards value-based ones. Nurses, due to their role and privileged relationship with the patients, are to a large extent responsible for the collection of healthcare data – and nursing researchers, who are aware of this, use this data to foster healthcare innovation.