The need for cost effective health systems in Europe is imperative in the context of an increasing demand for health care by growing numbers of elderly people and a shrinking working force. Many health care systems are changing and looking for mechanisms to ensure, measure and improve the quality of care. On the other hand it is unclear which models of care delivery are the most cost-effective. To enable lower public spending and advance the economic efficiency of community care organisations policymakers need information on which type of community care delivery provides best outcomes against reasonable costs.
To identify best practices in community care delivery for dependent elderly, by benchmarking the cost-effectiveness of health care systems, taking into account costs of care, quality of care and organisation of European community care organisations.
IBenC capitalises on a standardised instrument, the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (interRAI-HC), which is used in routine care provisioning to assess patient outcomes, care use and quality of care. Building on existing data from the former FP5 project AdHOC (n=4010) and new data collection (n≥2750) a novel method to benchmark community care organisations will be developed: quality and cost of community care will be compared into one measure. Based on the interRAI-HC a summary measure for organisation performance, based on quality indicators, will be developed and the interRAI-HC will be validated for costs of care assessments from a societal perspective. To enable an in-depth interpretation of best performing practices, the contexts and characteristics of community care organisations will be studied rigorously.
IBenC will actively contribute to public health by enabling longer independent living of the elderly.
The novel method for benchmarking community care practices on macro and meso levels on costs and quality of care will improve insight into the cost effectiveness of European health care delivery, and provides an objective method to identify best practices. In addition the benchmark method will be suitable for (inter)national cost of care comparisons and will be applicable for benchmarking care models in other care settings in the future. The IBenC study will explore the feasibility of the development of an online tool to benchmark cost-effectiveness of health care organisations based on their organisational characteristics. Such a tool can provide easy access to health care policy makers and health care providers to the generated knowledge on cost-effectiveness and organisation of European community care.
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