Creating a sustainable future

HealthCast ()

The health systems of nations around the world may be unsustainable if unchanged over the next 15 years.

Globally, healthcare is threatened by a confluence of powerful trends — increasing demand, rising costs, uneven quality, misaligned incentives. If ignored, these trends will overwhelm health systems, creating massive financial burdens for businesses and governments as well as health problems for current and future generations.

During 2005, PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed 700 health and business leaders in 27 countries about their health systems. While no one country has all of the answers, solutions to local problems can be found throughout the globe. Creating a sustainable strategy for the future depends on organisations’ abilities to learn and customise workable solutions within a societal context. PricewaterhouseCoopers has identified transferable lessons within seven key features that will create systems that are built to last.

Those seven key features are:

  1. Quest for Common Ground: A vision and strategy is needed to balance public versus private interests in building an infrastructure and in providing basic health benefits within the context of societal priorities.
  2. A Digital Backbone: Better use of technology and interoperable electronic networks accelerate integration, standardisation, and knowledge transfer of administrative and clinical information.
  3. Incentive Realignment: Incentive systems ensure and manage access to care while supporting accountability and responsibility for healthcare decisions.
  4. Quality and Safety Standardisation: Defined and enforced clinical standards establish mechanisms for accountability and enhanced transparency, thereby building consumer trust.
  5. Strategic Resource Deployment: Resource allocation appropriately satisfies competing demands on systems to control costs while providing sufficient access to care for the most people.
  6. Climate of Innovation: Innovation, technology and process changes are a means to continuously improve treatment, efficiency and outcomes.
  7. Adaptable Delivery Roles and Structures: Flexible care settings and expanded clinical roles provide avenues for care that are centered on the needs of the patient.

HealthCast 2020 is the third in a series of global futures reports, which started in 1999.

Previous issues of HealthCast

Mar 2010 The customisation of diagnosis, care and cure
Jan 2005 Creating a sustainable future
May 2002 A blueprint for the future