Allocating resources and reducing harm and waste in health systems
This theme is focused on how resources should be used in healthcare.
This includes work on health technology assessment, including research to answer questions about how judgements are made in the assessment process, and work to incorporate the judgements of consumers and members of the public into decision making processes.
We are also researching a common problem in healthcare systems: overuse of tests, treatment and services. There are different types of overuse in healthcare. These include doing unnecessary tests (over-testing), giving people diagnoses that they don’t need (overdiagnosis), or providing treatments or services that don’t work or make things worse (overtreatment). Unnecessary interventions can harm people and waste valuable healthcare resources that should be spent in areas of need. In this theme, we ask questions about how to understand the problem of healthcare overuse, and what to do about it, especially when people disagree.
With our colleagues at Wiser Healthcare, we are exploring these complex problems to contribute to better communication strategies and solutions. Our work focuses on diverse examples, including transvaginal mesh, direct to consumer pathology testing, and screening for disease. Our goal is to understand the diversity of people’s views on these complex problems, and to help make healthcare less harmful and more equitable.