STEP BY STEP, BUILDING STRONGER HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
The result: a series of pilot programmes that demonstrate the power of concrete solutions to improve the sustainability of healthcare systems. Each programme falls under at least one of the three pillars of sustainable healthcare: prevention and early intervention, patient empowerment and reorganisation of care delivery. The most successful pilots are scaled up and every project proves that even small changes have the potential to make a big impact. The power of pilot programmes is that they serve as examples; models that can be adapted to different countries, languages and health systems.
- Austria – Psoriasis Patient Coaches
- Belgium – Activ84worK
- Canada – Alberta gets Fit for Work
- Denmark – A Solution Catalogue with nine solutions
- Finland – Advancing Healthcare Sustainability
- France – Carmelia
- Germany – The “Simply Irreplaceable!” Initiative
- Greece – Instituting National Health Insurance
- Greece – Re-organising Emergency Hospital Care
- Ireland – A Journey of Innovation & Partnership
- Israel – Reboot – AbbVie Innovation Forum
- Italy – A Micro-Simulation Model
- Netherlands – Towards more Effective Treatments
- Norway – “We Care!” A Work/Life Balance Initiative
- Poland – “Healthy – Active – Constructive”
- Portugal – IS2 Portugal Sustainable Health Initiative
- Romania – The “Hands with Life” Initiative
- Slovakia – A study to facilitate patient education
- Spain – Fit for Life: Living longer, Living Better
- Sweden – A Solutions Catalogue
- Sweden: IBD Home – Patient disease self-monitoring
- Switzerland – Development for Hospitals: A Manual
- Turkey – Gaziantep University Early Arthritis Clinic
- UK – The Hepatitis C Partnership
- UK – The Shared Decision-Making Tool
- UK – Early Intervention Clinic for MSDs
UK – Early Intervention Clinic for Musculoskeletal Disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) consist of a wide range of disorders that affect the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissue. They include disorders such as lower back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. These conditions place a major health burden on the UK population and greatly intensify pressures on finite NHS resources. MSDs also have a detrimental effect on the UK economy as they represent the single largest cause of sickness absence in the UK (1). In 2010, working-age ill health due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis cost the UK economy £14.8 billion (2).
If provided with rapid specialist help, people with MSDs are often able to manage their conditions effectively, improving their quality of life and enabling them to remain within the workforce. Early intervention for people with MSDs can reduce temporary work disability by 39% and permanent work disability by 50% (3). Unfortunately, referrals of people with MSDs from primary into specialist care settings can take a long time, resulting in unnecessary discomfort and work absence.
AbbVie is supporting the creation of the UK’s first Early Intervention Clinic for people who have been signed off work with a MSD. Rolled out by the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and led by Dr Steve Brennan, the clinic is specifically designed to enable quick referrals from primary care, allowing patients to access a specialist in just five days and reduce the time people with MSDs are signed off from work.
The clinic is based on a model trialed in Spain, which has been shown to improve patients’ health, support them to return to work quicker and save costs to the health service and the wider economy (4). At present, seven GP practices are linked up to make referrals to the Early Intervention Clinic. It is estimated that around 750 patients will be seen at the clinic over the pilot period. The clinic will measure success by tracking patient outcomes and will measure patient experience by quantifying the efficiency of the service.
Status: The clinic opened its doors to its first patient in May 2016 and is expected to operate for 18 months. Findings from the pilot will be analysed in 2017.
It is hoped that through early intervention the clinic will reduce work disability and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. If successful in achieving its primary objectives, the clinic will demonstrate a proof of concept that reduces temporary lost working days and absenteeism and improves presenteeism. The clinic is also expected to deliver savings to employers and the wider economy and to reduce hospital appointments. Thanks to the efficiency of the model, the pilot is believed to be transferable to other therapy areas.
(1) The Work Foundation, Self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders and employment, September 2014 (work was supported by a grant from AbbVie), available at: http://www.theworkfoundation.com/DownloadPublication/Report/370_REPORTSelf-managementofchronic musculoskeletaldisorders092014(1).pdf [accessed August 2016]
(2) Arthritis Research UK, Working with arthritis, available at: http://www.nhshealthatwork.co.uk/images/library/files/Bulletins/July_2016_ Arthritis_Research_UK_WORKING_WITH_ARTHRITIS_[June_2016]_-_Publication_5_July_2016.pdf [accessed August 2016]
(3) The Work Foundation, Reducing temporary work absence through early intervention: The case of MSDs in the EU, available at: http://www. theworkfoundation.com/DownloadPublication/Report/341_ThecaseforearlyinterventionsonMSDs.pdf [accessed August 2016]
(4) Juan Jover, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, A cost-effective, evidence-based solution to reduce the burden of MSDs, Presentation to the EU Summit on Chronic Diseases, 2014
AXCOR151991(1) – Date of Preparation: August 2016
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.