Dr Stefan Larsson: What Doctors Can Learn From Each Other

Different hospitals produce different results for different procedures. However, patients do not know that data, making choosing a surgeon a high-stakes guessing game. Stefan Larsson looks at what happens when doctors measure and share their outcomes on hip replacement surgery, for example, to see which techniques are proving the most effective. Could health care get better, and cheaper, if doctors learn from each other in a continuous feedback loop?

A doctor by training, Stefan Larsson, of BCG, researches how transparency of medical outcomes and costs could radically transform the healthcare industry.

In the developed world, health care represents 9 to 18 percent of the GDP, and these costs are rising faster than economic growth. Stefan Larsson, a senior partner and managing director in BCG’s Stockholm office, the global leader of BCG’s Health Care Payers and Providers sector, and a BCG Fellow since 2010, believes that the answer isn’t just managing costs, but improving patient outcomes.

The idea at the centre of this approach: registries of health outcomes. By coming up with criteria for measuring quality of care, sharing data on how procedures and parts are working, and learning from each other constantly, doctors and nurses can become agents of change, providing better care and lower costs at the same time.

Larsson is co-founder of the International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement, a not-for-profit organization for global standardisation of outcomes measurement, which has Michael Porter, HBS and Karolinska Institute as partners.

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