Effectiveness means health benefit (change in health) obtained with treatment conducted in daily healthcare practice.
The assessment of treatment effectiveness has an increasing role in healthcare, providing means to use limited healthcare resources in the best possible manner. Efficiency can be pursued only when there is awareness of both the resources used, i.e. costs, in the production of health services and of the effectiveness, i.e. impact on patient’s health, achieved with them. Measuring the use of resources is relatively easy in this equation, but the measurement of effectiveness of the treatment and care delivered in daily healthcare practice, is considered challenging, or even difficult. This is partly due to a lack of culture of effectiveness assessment and relevant measuring of the health benefits produced for patients.
After the social welfare and healthcare reform in Finland, the requirements for measuring effectiveness will grow, and these requirements concern all actors. Hence, it’s of great importance to get development started for effectiveness assessment in healthcare units. This work will require a disease-specific approach where goals of the treatment are defined and achievement of goals are followed by relevant parameters or indicators reflecting patient’s health benefits.
Read more about evaluation of effectiveness in cancer treatment from the pdf-document below. The information is based on a larger report that was compiled in an effort between Pharma Industry Finland and Medaffcon to identify concrete measures and indicators for assessing effectiveness.
The original report describing how effectiveness could be assessed in the seven selected diseases included in the study can be downloaded from here.