Trend 6. Concentration of volumes to centers of excellence to further drive quality and productivity improvements
Increased specialization improves quality and increases productivity, since greater specialization increases the expertise of doctors, nurses and other medical staff, enabling them to develop and maintain their core competences. Developed healthcare systems are, therefore, seeking to concentrate volumes at levels where the numbers of procedures, treatments or interventions per doctor or medical team are sufficiently high to achieve quality and productivity gains. The development of increased specialization is in line with the shift from inpatient care to outpatient care and the adoption of the LEON (lowest efficient care level) principle, and ultimately enables the provision of quality care to more patients for the same cost.
In most developed healthcare systems, this trend for increased specialization can be seen in the greater prevalence of ”centers of excellence”. In Sweden, the breast center at Capio St Göran’s Hospital is an example of a specialist inpatient center of excellence. Another example are smaller specialized units that together with a Capio main unit form a so called star network.