Intended for healthcare professionals


Optimising the value of interventions for populations

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6192
  1. Muir Gray, co-director NHS Rightcare Workstream1,
  2. Anas El Turabi, academic clinical fellow2
  1. 1Better Value Healthcare, Oxford OX2 7LF, UK
  2. 2Cambridge Centre for Health Service Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK
  1. muir.gray{at}

All clinician groups should estimate which interventions are most beneficial.

Few big scientific ideas are so widely adopted and understood as the concept of the paradigm shift.1 Robert Brook, one of the founders of the quality improvement paradigm, in a recent article entitled, The End of the Quality Improvement Movement: Long Live Improving Value, described incisively the latest big paradigm shift that has arisen as a consequence of the economic imperatives challenging health systems globally.2

Quality, safety, and evidence of effectiveness in medical care—the previous paradigms—are still essential, but only in so far as they affect value. Consideration of value is what lies at the heart of a new report by IMPRESS (Improving and Integrating Respiratory Services)3—a collaboration between respiratory specialists and generalists with a special interest in lung health. The report calculated the relative value of different interventions within a particular system of healthcare: services for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Value relates the outcomes of healthcare interventions to their cost. Costs are considered not only in terms of money or carbon, but …

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