Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 8:37 EDT

New research finds ‘clear misalignment’ between what Canadians value, and health system performance measurement and funding

November 27, 2012

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ – There is a clear misalignment between
what Canadians value from a health perspective, and how health system
performance is measured and funded, according to new research presented
today by the International Centre for Health Innovation (the Centre) at
the Richard Ivey School of Business. To achieve greater value for
health system costs in Canada and achieve transformational change, the
paper suggests that the values of Canadians and those that underpin
health systems must align.

“The research findings confirm that Canadian values related to health
care have shifted in recent years towards a desire for greater autonomy
and empowerment in managing their wellness and health,” said Dr. Anne
Snowdon, Chair of the Centre. “This means Canadians want a health care
system focused on quality of life, health and wellness, and one in
which the patient is the core priority, yet we have health care systems
that are funded and measured based on an entirely different set of

The study identifies in detail the misalignment between Canadians’
values and how the system is currently designed, organized, funded, and
evaluated. For example, the values of Canadians are not currently
captured in health system costing data or funding models. Health system
costs are focused on the “inputs” of Canadian health systems (i.e.,
cost of drugs prescribed, cost of hospital services) and are not
associated with outcomes of health systems that may reflect or align
with Canadian values. In addition, current measures of health system
performance focus primarily on access to care, and quality outcomes
that identify hospital-related adverse events. Health systems rely on
performance measures in terms of safety, and risk associated with
hospitalizations. There is very little evidence that Canadians’ values
are represented in the current performance measurement or evaluation

“Further, our analysis of the values of each of the comparator OECD
countries varied widely from Canadian health systems values. Values
expressed in the comparator OECD countries tend to focus more directly
on healthy, active living, patient choice, and health literacy, a stark
contrast to Canadian health systems values,” added Dr. Snowdon. “These
OECD countries have also achieved greater quality outcomes in their
health systems. As a country we have not focused on healthy, active
living as a priority.”

To successfully shift the Canadian health care system to one that is
cost-effective, sustainable, and patient-centric, the Centre recommends
the following:

      1. Align health system values with Canadian values, in order to
         develop a system that is focused on strengthening health and
         quality of life for the Canadian population.
      2. Align health system performance metrics and funding models with
         Canadian values, focusing on health and wellness as a central
      3. Re-examine health workforce values relative to the needs and
         values of Canadians, who strive for personalized and collaborative
         relationships with health providers to achieve health and

“In order to achieve the effective, sustainable and patient-centric
model of health care in Canada, the values of Canadians and those of
the health care system must align,” said  Snowdon. “Canadians’ values
reflect the desire for a more ‘personalized’ health care system, one
that actively engages consumers in a collaborative partnership with
health providers. This shift is essential to achieving transformational
change within our health system.”

To access a PDF version of the full white paper, visit: go.ivey.ca/costvsvalues

SOURCE International Centre for Health Innovation

Source: PR Newswire