Why evidence, not culture, is the key to driving value-based healthcare


NHSThe UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Confederation has done lots of great research on how to enhance decision making so that every decision delivers greater value to patients (in terms of clinical outcome) and to health care organisations (in terms of operational effectiveness). In its most recent report on this subject, the Confederation focuses heavily on creating a culture of value, so that every person in the NHS puts ‘value’ front and centre – whether they are A&E nurses (accident and emergency) or CFOs.

But will changing the way decisions are made – in terms of environments and behaviours – really result in decisions that output more value? Is making a cultural change enough?

For us at SAS, creating that culture of value can only be fully realised when every clinical, administrative, financial and commissioning decision is underpinned by something much more powerful than ‘the will’ to deliver more value. In fact, without the ability to objectively evaluate challenges, interrogate actions and model the impact of outcomes on the greater patient population, how can we expect NHS professionals to be certain that their decisions are delivering additional value at the patient level?

In his work on value-based care, renowned strategist Michael Porter includes information technology as an essential transformative force in delivering value-based care. He asks health care organisations to look at their IT systems and data resources, questioning whether they are siloed, whether they are capable of collecting accurate data and delivering the kinds of insights that can underpin change and enable greater value to be generated.

So how can NHS organisations and professionals get the evidence they need to inform their decisions of value? In our experience, and in our work with The Royal Brompton & Harefield Foundation Trust, NHS England and Kaiser Permanente, it comes down to three things: a robust data integration and management strategy; predictive, powerful analytics; and skilled experts to help our NHS customers to learn how to obtain the answers they need.

Read our opinions on the NHS Confederation’s Decisions of Value paper including our views on culture versus information as an agent of change. I urge you to read the paper to learn why it is the hidden insights in all manner of NHS data that will transform decision making and actively drive true patient-centricity.

If you’d like to learn more about our work with health care organisations like yours, or how we can help you make better, value-generating decisions, contact me at david.downing@sas.com.


About Author

David Downing

Central Government and Healthcare Director, SAS UK

David has been working with the public sector for over 15 years, building technology based partnerships focused on client and citizen value. He's experienced in the challenges of IT transformation. David was previously Director of Health at SAS UK, focusing on how SAS can enable improved health outcomes and reduce costs across the NHS. His responsibilities included solution development, demand creation, development of go-to-market strategy and building proof of value and strategic partnerships. His role has been expanded to manage a team who focus on helping Central Government within the UK understand the value of the data it holds together with how to gain intelligent insight for informed decision making. David has a detailed understanding of the challenges across health and government and how analytics can transform citizen and patients.

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