Calabro, GE., Torre, G La., Waure, C de., et al (2018) Disnvestment in healthcare: an overview of HTA agencies and organisations activities at European level. BMC Health Services Research 18: 148. Full text here.
Background: In an era of a growing economic pressure for all health systems, the interest for “disinvestment” in healthcare increased. In this context, evidence based approaches such as Health Technology Assessment (HTA) are needed both to invest and to disinvest in health technologies. In order to investigate the extent of application of HTA in this field, methodological projects/frameworks, case studies, dissemination initiatives on disinvestment released by HTA agencies and organizations located in Europe were searched.
Methods: In July 2015, the websites of HTA agencies and organizations belonging to the European network for HTA (EUnetHTA) and the International Network of Agencies for HTA (INAHTA) were accessed and searched through the use of the term “disinvestment”. Retrieved deliverables were considered eligible if they reported methodological projects/ frameworks, case studies and dissemination initiatives focused on disinvestment in healthcare.
Results: 62 HTA agencies/organizations were accessed and eight methodological projects/ frameworks, one case study and one dissemination initiative were found starting from 2007. With respect to methodological projects/frameworks, two were delivered in Austria, one in Italy, two in Spain and three in U.K. As for the case study and the dissemination initiative, both came from U.K. The majority of deliverables were aimed at making an overview of existing disinvestment approaches and at identifying challenges in their introduction.
Conclusions: Today, in a healthcare context characterized by resource scarcity and increasing service demand, “disinvestment” from low-value services and reinvestment in high-value ones is a key strategy that may be supported by HTA. The lack of evaluation of technologies in use, in particular at the end of their lifecycle, may be due to the scant availability of frameworks and guidelines for identification and assessment of obsolete technologies that was shown by our work. Although several projects were carried out in different countries, most remain constrained to the field of research. Disinvestment is a relatively new concept in HTA that could pose challenges also from a methodological point of view. To tackle these challenges, it is necessary to construct experiences at international level with the aim to develop new methodological approaches to produce and grow evidence on disinvestment policies and practices.
Daniels, T., Williams, I., Bryan, S., Mitton, C. (2018) Involving citizens in disinvestment decisions: what do health professionals think? Findings froma multi-method study in the English NHS. Health Economics, Policy and Law 13(2):162-188. For full text click here
Public involvement in disinvestment decision making in health care is widely advocated, and in some cases legally mandated. However, attempts to involve the public in other areas of health policy have been accused of tokenism and manipulation. This paper presents research into the views of local health care leaders in the English National Health Service (NHS) with regards to the involvement of citizens and local communities in disinvestment decision making. The research includes a Q study and follow-up interviews with a sample of health care clinicians and managers in senior roles in the English NHS. It finds that whilst initial responses suggest high levels of support for public involvement, further probing of attitudes and experiences shows higher levels of ambivalence and risk aversion and a far more cautious overall stance. This study has implications for the future of disinvestment activities and public involvement in health care systems faced with increased resource constraint. Recommendations are made for future research and practice.
Harris, C., Green, S. Elshaug, AG. (2017) Sustainability in Health care by Allocating Resources Effectively (SHARE) 10: operationalising disinvestment in a conceptual framework for resource allocation. BMC Health Services Research 17: 632. Full text here
Discussion: A framework for disinvestment in a local healthcare setting is proposed. Definitions for essential terms and key concepts underpinning the framework have been made explicit to address the lack of consistent terminology. Given the negative connotations of the word ‘disinvestment’ and the problems inherent in considering disinvestment in isolation, the basis for the proposed framework is ‘resource allocation’ to address the spectrum of decision-making from investment to disinvestment. The focus is positive: optimising healthcare, improving health outcomes, using resources effectively.
The framework is based on three components: a program for decision-making, projects to implement decisions and evaluate outcomes, and research to understand and improve the program and project activities. The program consists of principles for decision-making and settings that provide opportunities to introduce systematic prompts and triggers to initiate disinvestment. The projects follow the steps in the disinvestment process. Potential methods and tools are presented, however the framework does not stipulate project design or conduct; allowing application of any theories, methods or tools at each step. Barriers are discussed and examples illustrating constituent elements are provided.
Hasson, H., Nilson, P., Augustsson, H., Thiele Schwarz, U Von. (2018) Empiral and conceptual investigation of de-implimentation of low-value care from professional and health care system perspectives: a study protocol. Implementation Science 1391): 67 Full text here
BACKGROUND: A considerable proportion of interventions provided to patients lacks evidence of their effectiveness. This implies that patients may receive ineffective, unnecessary, or even harmful care. Thus, in addition to implementing evidence-based practices, there is also a need to abandon interventions that are not based on best evidence, i.e., low-value care. However, research on de-implementation is limited, and there is a lack of knowledge about how effective de-implementation processes should be carried out. The aim of this project is to explore the phenomenon of the de-implementation of low-value health care practices from the perspective of professionals and the health care system.
METHODS: Theories of habits and developmental learning in combination with theories of organizational alignment will be used. The project's work will be conducted in five steps. Step 1 is a scoping review of the literature, and Step 2 has an explorative design involving interviews with health care stakeholders. Step 3 has a prospective design in which workplaces and professionals are shadowed during an ongoing de-implementation. In Step 4, a conceptual framework for de-implementation will be developed based on the previous steps. In Step 5, strategies for de-implementation are identified using a co-design approach.
DISCUSSION: This project contributes new knowledge to implementation science consisting of empirical data, a conceptual framework, and strategy suggestions on de-implementation of low-value care. The professionals' perspectives will be highlighted, including insights into how they make decisions, handle de-implementation in daily practice, and what consequences it has on their work. Furthermore, the health care system perspective will be considered and new knowledge on how de-implementation can be understood across health care system levels will be obtained. The theories of habits and developmental learning can also offer insights into how context triggers and reinforces certain behaviors and how factors at the individual and the organizational levels interact. The project employs a solution-oriented perspective by developing a framework for de-implementation of low-value practices and suggesting practical strategies to improve de-implementation processes at all levels of the health care system. The framework and the strategies can thereafter be evaluated for their validity and impact in future studies.
Leigh, JP., Niven, DJ., Boyd, JM., Stelfox, HT. Developing a framework to guide the de-adoption of low-value clinical practices in acute care medicine: a study protocol. BMC Health Services Research 17: 54. Full text here
Background: Healthcare systems have difficulty incorporating scientific evidence into clinical practice, especially when science suggests that existing clinical practices are of low-value (e.g. ineffective or harmful to patients). While a number of lists outlining low-value practices in acute care medicine currently exist, less is known about how best to initiate and sustain the removal of low-value clinical practices (i.e. de-adoption). This study will develop a comprehensive list of barriers and facilitators to the de-adoption of low-value clinical practices in acute care
facilities to inform the development of a framework to guide the de-adoption process.
Methods: The proposed project is a multi-stage mixed methods study to develop a framework to guide the de-adoption of low-value clinical practices in acute care medicine that will be tested in a representative sample of acute care settings in Alberta, Canada. Specifically, we will: 1) conduct a systematic review of the de-adoption literature to identify published barriers and facilitators to the de-adoption of low-value clinical practices in acute care medicine and any associated interventions proposed (Phase one); 2) conduct focus groups with acute care stakeholders to identify important themes not published in the literature and obtain a comprehensive appreciation of stakeholder perspectives (Phase two); 3) extend the generalizability of focus group findings by conducting individual stakeholder surveys with a representative sample of acute care providers throughout the province to determine which barriers and facilitators identified in Phases one and two are most relevant in their clinical setting (Phase three). Identified barriers and facilitators will be catalogued and integrated with targeted interventions in a framework to guide the process of de-adoption in
each of four targeted areas of acute care medicine (Emergency Medicine, Cardiovascular Health and Stroke, Surgery and Critical Care Medicine). Analyses will be descriptive using a combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses.
Discussion: There is a growing body of literature suggesting that the de-adoption of ineffective or harmful practices from patient care is integral to the delivery of high quality care and healthcare sustainability. The framework developed in this study will map barriers and facilitators to de-adoption to the most appropriate interventions, allowing stakeholders to effectively initiate, execute and sustain this process in an evidence-based manner.
Moore, L., Boukar, KM., Tardif, P., et al. (2017) Low-value clinical practices in injury care: a scoping review protocol, BMJ Open 7(7): e016024. Full text here
Introduction: Preventable injuries lead to 200 000 hospital stays, 60 000 disabilities, and 13 000 deaths per year in Canada with direct costs of $20 billion. Overall, potentially unnecessary medical interventions are estimated to consume up to 30% of healthcare resources and may expose patients to avoidable harm. However, little is known about overuse for acute injury care. We aim to identify low-value clinical practices in injury care.
Methods and analysis: We will perform a scoping review of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature to identify research articles, reviews, recommendations and guidelines that identify at least one low-value clinical practice specific to injury populations. We will search Medline, EMBASE, COCHRANE central, and BIOSIS/Web of Knowledge databases, websites of government agencies, professional societies and patient advocacy organisations, thesis holdings and conference proceedings. Pairs of independent reviewers will evaluate studies for eligibility and extract data from included articles using a prepiloted and standardised electronic data abstraction form. Low-value clinical practices will be categorised using an extension of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality conceptual framework and data will be presented using narrative synthesis.
Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval is not required as original data will not be collected. This study will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal, international scientific meetings, and to knowledge users through clinical and healthcare quality associations. This review will contribute new knowledge on low-value clinical practices in acute injury care. Our results will support the development indicators to measure resource overuse and inform policy makers on potential targets for deadoption in injury care.
- Quality in health care
- medical overuse
- Low-value clinical practise
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Niven, DJ., Mrklas, KJ., Holodinsky, JK., et al. (2015) Towards undestanding the de-adoption of low-value clinical practices: a scoping review. BMC Medicine 13:255. Full text here
Low-value clinical practices are common in healthcare, yet the optimal approach to de-adopting these practices is unknown. The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature on de-adoption, document current terminology and frameworks, map the literature to a proposed framework, identify gaps in our understanding of de-adoption, and identify opportunities for additional research.
Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Database of Abstracts and Reviews of Effects, and CINAHL Plus were searched from 1 January 1990 to 5 March 2014. Additional citations were identified from bibliographies of included citations, relevant websites, the PubMed ‘related articles’ function, and contacting experts in implementation science. English-language citations that referred to de-adoption of clinical practices in adults with medical, surgical, or psychiatric illnesses were included. Citation selection and data extraction were performed independently and in duplicate.
Results: From 26,608 citations, 109 were included in the final review. Most citations (65 %) were original research with the majority (59 %) published since 2010. There were 43 unique terms referring to the process of de-adoption—the most frequently cited was “disinvest” (39 % of citations). The focus of most citations was evaluating the outcomes of de-adoption (50 %), followed by identifying low-value practices (47 %), and/or facilitating de-adoption (40 %). The prevalence of low-value practices ranged from 16 % to 46 %, with two studies each identifying more than 100 low-value practices. Most articles cited randomized clinical trials (41 %) that demonstrate harm (73 %) and/or lack of efficacy (63 %) as the reason to de-adopt an existing clinical practice. Eleven citations described 13 frameworks to guide the de-adoption process, from which we developed a model for facilitating de-adoption. Active change interventions were associated with the greatest likelihood of de-adoption.
Conclusions: This review identified a large body of literature that describes current approaches and challenges to de-adoption of low-value clinical practices. Additional research is needed to determine an ideal strategy for identifying low-value practices, and facilitating and sustaining de-adoption. In the meantime, this study proposes a model that providers and decision-makers can use to guide efforts to de-adopt ineffective and harmful practices.