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Strategic focus

A clear view about what constitutes value for patients 

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine Dr Tom Lee of Massachusetts General Hospital says: “Value” is a word that has long aroused skepticism among physicians, who suspect it of being code for “cost reduction.” Nevertheless, an increasing number of health care delivery organizations now describe enhancement of value for patients as a fundamental goal’. It is clear from our case studies that this is the key first step to unlocking improved quality, reduced costs and increased productivity.

Organizations need to have a clear view about what constitutes value for patients and use this to set its strategy, measure success and as the basis for conversations with front line staff. Having a strong sense of purpose based on what matters to patients and ensuring that there is a focus on this at all levels of the organization means that it is much more likely that there will be alignment between professional and managerial goals. This is a crucial requirement for success in the other key habits we have identified and makes difficult conversations about the redesign of work processes, performance, etc easier and more constructive.


Our global research shows that successful organizations need to embed the search for value for patients in all aspects of the organization including their goals, management information, recruitment methods, reward systems, strategies and the behavior of staff at the frontline.

Case studies


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