Why patient-centred approaches are important

Significant changes in demographics, epidemiology and lifestyles have created novel challenges for health systems. Recent OECD estimates suggest that the share of population aged over 65 will rise to nearly 30% by 2060.  Given existing budgetary constraints, today’s health systems are struggling to meet the challenges posed by an ageing society and the increasing burden of chronic diseases and related comorbidities it brings.

Barriers between hospital, primary, community and social care prevent more person-centred healthcare. Valuable information is not shared efficiently across service providers, leaving citizens to try to integrate services themselves, navigating between different healthcare providers. Yet overburdened patients may face difficulties communicating complex care needs and medical histories across services. At the same time, underdeveloped and fragmented data collection on health outcomes makes it difficult to objectively compare the value of different care interventions. 

Transforming delivery mechanisms to a more person-centred approach would provide better, safer and more efficient care. To make patients the focus of the next generation of health reforms, governments could: support multi-year funding, stakeholder engagement and education programmes for overcoming barriers in care organisation, finance, technology, regulatory and governance; develop multi-stakeholder collaboration to implement shared care pathways, disease management and improve health literacy; secure political leadership and develop national and regional evidence-based roadmaps for transforming integrated care delivery systems that are better suited to individual needs.  

The private sector has outlined these and other recommendations in a vision paper. We encourage governments to look at innovation, nutrition and active lifestyles and investment linked to health policy. As we address health ministers in Paris this January, we look forward to further intensifying our collaboration.

‌‌Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) is an independent international business association devoted to advising government policymakers at the OECD.

For more information on the work of BIAC at the OECD, contact Ali Karami Ruiz, Business at OECD (BIAC), at KARAMIRUIZ@biac.org.

Visit http://biac.org/

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References

BIAC (2017), “Our Vision and Priorities for the Future of Health”, available at www.biac.org

OECD (2016), Health at a Glance: Europe 2016, OECD Publishing

©OECD Observer No 309 Q1 2017




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