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DEBORAH COLE Board Chair, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)

Providing real value requires a healthcare revolution

As a healthcare professional, one of the hardest

Like most healthcare organisations, we had a

things to admit is that what you’re doing doesn’t

finite amount of funding and resources. The only

work. One of the most challenging things is to

way to effect change was to focus on value and

change it. And one of the most rewarding things

outcomes from a patient perspective.

is to see that change achieve meaningful results. I have just returned from Europe where I had the

We reviewed The strategy that will fix healthcare paper by Porter and Lee and used it to inform

honour of accepting the international Value Based

our framework for the future. We applied Porter

Health Care (VBHC) Prize 2019 for Excellence in

and Lee’s VBHC principles, enhanced them for

Primary Care on behalf of Dental Health Services

our setting and developed our value-based health

Victoria (DHSV). As CEO of DHSV I couldn’t be

care model for oral health care. Throughout this

prouder that our organisation was recognised

process we were navigating unchartered territory.

on such an esteemed international stage. It was

It was confronting and exhilarating all at once.

a wonderful recognition of our commitment to

It required us to face our failures and commit to

providing value to patients by focusing on the

incredibly complex change without reverting to

health outcomes that matter most to them.

the safety of the familiar. Every step was debated,

While our move towards providing value-based oral health care is still in its infancy, we are already seeing incredible results. I’d like to briefly

hypothesised, repeatedly revisited and most importantly, co-designed with our clients. Last October, we launched our VBHC proof

share our experience thus far in the hope that

of concept clinic and the results have been

it inspires more health leaders to join the global

exceptional. By focusing on prevention and early

VBHC movement.

intervention along with appropriate workforce

Two years ago, we looked at the state of oral health in Victoria and realised that our system was fundamentally flawed. There were significant

mix, we are delivering the best health outcomes at the lowest cost. We’ve seen a 60% increase in preventative

unwarranted variations in the quality and type

interventions and an 80% decrease in dentists

of services being provided. Oral health wasn’t

doing work that can be done by other dental

improving. Our clinicians were frustrated. And

professionals. We’ve also seen a significant drop

our clients felt disempowered.

in failure-to-attend rates from 18.9% down to 5.8%.

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The Health Advocate • JUNE 2019

Profile for Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

The Health Advocate - Issue 53 / June 2019  

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