The challenge of sustainability in healthcare systems: Frequency and cost of inappropriate patterns of breast cancer care (the E.Pic.A study)

Ilaria Massa, William Balzi, Costanza Burattini, Nicola Gentili, Lauro Bucchi, Oriana Nanni, Davide Gallegati, Andrea Pierini, Dino Amadori, Fabio Falcini, Mattia Altini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives In a context of decreasing economic health resources and a rise in health needs, it is urgent to face this sustainability crisis through the analysis of healthcare expenditures. Wastages, deriving from inappropriate interventions, erode resources which could be reallocated to high-value activities. To identify these areas of wastages, we developed a method for combining and analyzing data from multiple sources. Here we report the preliminary results of a retrospective cohort study evaluating the performance of breast cancer (BC) care at IRST, an Italian cancer institute. Materials and methods Four data sources gathered in a real-world setting (a clinical database, two administrative databases and a cancer registry) were linked. Essential Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) in the pattern of BC diagnosis (KPI 1 and 2) and treatment (KPI 3 and 4) based on current guidelines were developed by a board of professionals. The costs of inappropriate examinations were associated with the diagnostic KPIs. Results We found that 2798 patients treated at IRST from January 2010 to June 2016 received a total of 2516 inappropriate examinations accounting for € 573,510.80. Linkage from multiple routine healthcare data sources is feasible: it allows the measurement of important KPIs specifically designed for BC care, and the identification of areas of low-value use of the resources. Conclusion If systematically applied, this method could help provide a complete picture of inappropriateness and waste, redirect these resources to higher-value interventions for patients, and fill the gap between proper use of the resources and the best clinical results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107
Number of pages5
JournalBreast
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • Appropriateness
  • Breast cancer
  • Healthcare systems
  • Real-world evidence
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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