Quality and relevance of care are one of the cornerstones of the Health System Transformation Strategy (STSS) introduced by the French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.
Private hospitals have long recognized and promoted these concepts. Putting them at the heart of the organization of our system constitutes a genuine paradigm shift and an opportunity to seize.
It is a question of breaking free of an accounting approach to health, disconnected from the field, to better integrate the evolution of the patients ‘needs and the new expectations of health professionals.
The final goal is both simple and fundamental: to enable everyone not just to have access to care but access to relevant care of proven quality.
Quality of care is a key issue which cannot be reduced to a stack of medico-administrative procedures and rules. What is important is the time and energy that teams devote to the patient. It is therefore necessary to take medical quality into account remaining as closely as possible to reality, and to grasp with finesse what constitutes the “value” of a treatment, resulting from a balance between its therapeutic benefit and its human and financial cost.
Only evaluation by “peers”, ie specialists in each medical discipline, according to benchmarks developed with all stakeholders, enables the quality of medical practices to be assessed. It is a philosophy of action that the French Federation of Private Hospitals supports and argues with the Ministry and Health Agencies, because it is based on the acknowledgement of the value of skills.
The patient experience is also something that the private hospital sector needs to integrate more into its approaches. Meeting the challenge of quality and relevance of care will only be possible with a patient who is both informed and responsible, co-builder of his care.
We appreciate that, in PLFSS 2019, the share allocated to quality financing increases substantially. But adding coercive measures is ineffective. It is important to keep the positive and encouraging nature of the approach, so that it acts as a real lever for improving practices and consideration for the professionals.
Continuously improving the quality of care is a powerful factor of motivation for professionals, but it is also, and perhaps above all, a question of finally making the service provided to the patient the foundation of all public action in health.