Improved quality reduces the length of stay

New treatment methods, new medical techniques and care protocols improve the quality of healthcare and enable patients to make a speedier recovery, which in turn reduces lengths of stay. Historically, however, two barriers have inhibited the introduction and application of this type of Modern Medicine: the inability of healthcare providers to introduce and apply “best practice” and healthcare reimbursement systems that prevent opportunities for healthcare providers to drive quality improvements. The inability of healthcare providers to develop derives partly from ineffective management systems and a conservative approach to change. In addition, European healthcare systems have historically reimbursed healthcare on a per diem basis. Introducing modern new treatment methods reduces average lengths of stay (AVLOS) in inpatient care and increases the number of outpatient treatments per day. Shorter lengths of stay also increase opportunities for outpatient treatment of patients and thus lead to a shift in volumes from inpatient to outpatient care. This, in turn, releases capacity and resources, enabling more patients to receive care of high quality at the same cost to the healthcare system. Lengths of stay and the share of outpatient care for certain treatment areas vary considerably among European countries.