Mortimer F, Isherwood J, Wilkinson A, Vaux E. Future Healthcare Journal, 2018 Vol.5(2):88-93
Abstract: Sustainability can be considered a domain of quality in healthcare, extending the responsibility of health services to patients not just of today but of the future. The longer term perspective highlights the impacts of our healthcare system on our environment and communities and in turn back onto population health. A sustainable approach will therefore expand the healthcare definition of value to measure health outcomes against environmental and social impacts alongside financial costs. We set out a practical framework for including these new dimensions in an already well-defined model of quality improvement. This has the potential to harness the growing quality improvement movement to shape a more sustainable health service, while improving patient outcomes. Early experience suggests that the new model may also provide immediate benefits, including additional motivation for clinicians to engage in quality improvement, directing their efforts towards high value interventions and enabling capture and communication of a wider range of impacts on patients, staff and communities.