Intended for healthcare professionals


New approaches to measurement and management for high integrity health systems

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 30 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1401

Chinese translation


  1. Albert Mulley, professor1,
  2. Angela Coulter, senior research scientist2,
  3. Miranda Wolpert, professor3,
  4. Tessa Richards, senior editor/patient partnership4,
  5. Kamran Abbasi, international editor4
  1. 1Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, NH 03756, US
  2. 2Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford
  3. 3Evidence Based Practice and Child Outcomes Research Consortium, UCL
  4. 4The BMJ
  1. Correspondence to: A Mulley albert.g.mulley.jr{at}
  • Accepted 15 March 2017

We need better tools to achieve the next generation reforms essential for delivering care that matters most to patients, say Albert Mulley and colleagues

Healthcare economies across the globe are in crisis. High income countries—whether their healthcare economies are market driven like the US or tax funded like the UK—are struggling with relentless demand for more services that are increasingly costly to deliver. Low and middle income countries are struggling to provide better and more equitable access to potentially lifesaving interventions while wisely allocating scarce resources across all sectors that affect human and social development. In rich and poor countries alike, policy makers, citizens, and health professionals are drawn to technology but are not learning how to use it most effectively or from mistakes made when its limits go unrecognised or unheeded.1

Variation in regional rates of therapeutic and diagnostic interventions and hospital based care exists globally with no measurable benefit in populations receiving more services.2345 At the same time effective primary healthcare and social services that can have a greater effect on health and wellbeing are being underused.467 The failure to deliver the right care at the right time in the right place contributes to the waste of as much as 40% of healthcare expenditures.48

Recognition of this waste, which is often associated with harm to patients, has spurred health policy reforms across the globe. One common objective is people centred care, which focuses on the needs and wants of individuals and engages them in management of their own care, including behaviours that promote and sustain health and wellbeing. A policy forum held earlier this year, which included health ministers and other representatives from members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and seven other countries, advocated a …

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