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Discovering Value-Based Health Care
Interactive Learning Modules from Dell Medical School


MISSION: EMPOWERING YOU TO DELIVER HIGH-VALUE CARE TO PATIENTS


We find ourselves in a turbulent but exciting time in health care. As a society, our capabilities to diagnose and treat disease are accelerating at a remarkable pace, yet unless we understand how to deliver health care in ways that meaningfully and consistently improve patient outcomes, we will fail to achieve our true goals. We must learn how to consider the intricate needs of our patients – their health circumstances, priorities, context, time and monetary stress – and to integrate the powerful capabilities of our health care system to provide the best possible care for each patient in front of us.

This transformation will occur on multiple levels. Leaders will transform the culture, strategy and goals of their organizations to high-value care delivery. Individuals, particularly early in their careers, often have less influence on the transformation of systems, but each of us can still make a difference. This course aims at that day-to-day difference you can make to improve the value of health care delivered in our current systems.

We must understand and embrace the concepts of value-based health care: maximizing outcomes that matter to patients per total costs of care. Our mission in this course is to help you as a professional – a medical, nursing, pharmacy or social work student; a resident physician or clinical fellow; a frontline physician or nurse; a respiratory, occupational, or physical therapist - not only learn what high-value health care is, but to engage you in the mission to ensure we can deliver on this promise to our patients. We seek through these modules to provide you with tools and to empower you to be a model for health care change and a leader in the effort to bring value to the forefront of our field.




MODULE 1

THERE'S A BETTER WAY

Our medical system is vast, complex, and teeming with wide variations in outcomes, disparities in care and results, virtual miracles and tragic harms, overuse, underuse and inappropriate use of services, inefficiencies and waste. These complex issues impact the care we provide and the outcomes of patients’ care, and they can seem an overwhelming problem too difficult to fully comprehend, let alone change. This module defines the goals of value-based health care—working with patients and families to achieve better health outcomes, efficiently. The most powerful way to improve value is to improve health outcomes in ways that reduce costs. Beyond the obvious examples in prevention, we present care improvements that either improve health outcomes in ways that reduce costs or simultaneously improve both outcomes and costs. One of the most straightforward ways to simultaneously improve outcomes and decrease costs is to cut out waste. Thus, we also identify the most common areas of inefficiency and wasteful practices in health care. These understandings can enable dramatic and ongoing improvement in health outcomes for patients and in the efficiency with which they are achieved.

MODULE 2

MEASURING WHAT MATTERS

How do we measure our success in health care? How do we define it, and where do we begin? These questions have a very clear answer: our success is inextricably tied to and based on our patients’ outcomes. In this module, you will explore how to measure outcomes that matter to patients. We will discuss patient goals, priorities, desires, and experiences. Meaningful health outcomes are true measures of success, and learning to account for and base patient care around the whole patient--not just his or her symptoms—enables delivery of high value health care.

MODULE 3

UNDERSTANDING COSTS IN HEALTH CARE

The costs of health care are way too high given the outcomes now achieved. Overuse, underuse and inappropriate use of care cumulate to stunning amounts of wasteful spending that drive costs up. Costs are a major problem with our health care system today, not only at the individual patient level, but at the level of organizations as well. This course focuses on how professionals can influence and change spending. Costs, how they cumulate and how they relate to prices that patients pay, are complex and often opaque. In this module, you will learn how costs occur and how this differs from how costs are assessed and tallied. You will see three methods of cost assessment and consider different types of physician reimbursement. You will also consider which methods provide the most transparency. Through gaining an understanding of and ability to discuss health care costs, you will be armed to provide clarity to your patients about the expense they may face from unnecessary services.

The Dell Medical School Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) modules are supported by the generous grant support of the Episcopal Health Foundation. The modules were created via a collaborative effort between Dell Medical School, part of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Institute for Transformational Learning (ITL) of the University of Texas System. The purpose of this collaboration has been to develop a rich, interactive instructional experience that brings the expertise and research Dell Medical School has invested into the provision of value-based health care together with ITL’s innovative pedagogical and design approach.



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Congratulations!

You have completed the Introduction to Value-Based Health Care modules. Please follow this link to complete a survey about these modules. Once you have completed this survey, you will receive your certificate of completion for these modules. You must also complete this survey if you wish to receive CME credit as described here.