Title: How To Get Better Value Healthcare
Author: J A Muir-Gray
Publisher: Offox Press for Better Value Healthcare Ltd
Reviewer: Anne Cooper, national clinical lead for nursing, Department of Health Informatics Directorate
What was it like?
This book is about the concept of healthcare value and how we can derive more value from our investment in health services. It explores the concept of value from the perspectives of payers of services, patients, clinicians, managers, industry and the public.
It’s a short read but is packed with information and pulls together a range of complex subjects such as programme budgeting, the meaning of “drift” in connection with benefits, methods to allocate resources and contextualises patient opinion as part of the value of services. It’s not for the faint hearted – it’s a serious book – but an invaluable read for nurses who may be working in leadership roles, management or commissioning. It cites ten top questions that we should ask if our aim is to increase value.
Despite the complexity of some of the content, it’s well structured, with a clear framework and approach, in easy chunks. Each section concludes with content created as a tool to use for networks as part of their development. I enjoyed some of the stories the author tells to illustrate key points.
What were the highlights?
As we move to an environment where clinical networks become vital in ensuring we continue to improve the way we deliver care, this book would be a useful tool for network development activities. It’s thought provoking and helps the reader to focus hard on the real challenges we face in healthcare in the decades to come.
It’s up to date, taking account of the current global financial climate. It also encourages thinking about waste in a broader environmental impact context – an important consideration for our thinking today.
The last section is a great aide memoire re-covering the main points of the book for practical application. The book concludes with the message that in order to meet the challenges we face, we require “leadership of the highest order”. The final section about leadership is challenging and thought provoking.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The practical sections that act as an aide memoire are really useful. The book is not a light read and is for those who have a serious interest in commissioning and planning services.
Who should read it?
An must read for nurses involved in commissioning and also a recommended read for senior nurses involved in networks and in senior leadership positions.