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December 8, 2015

Charting the Route to High-Value Care: The Role of Medical Education

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
JAMA. 2015;314(22):2359-2361. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15406

The quest for value in health care has been one with a vague idea of the goal but no clear idea of how to get there. The importance of providing value in medical care has been increasingly recognized, but until recently there has been no map or clear destination.

Mapping the road to value requires agreement on its meaning. Value can be defined simply as health outcomes achieved per dollar spent,1 but the concept of providing high-value clinical care (HVC) is more complex. The Institute of Medicine defines HVC as “the best care for the patient, with the optimal result for the circumstances, delivered at the right price.”2 This definition encapsulates the essence of being a good physician, emphasizing the fundamental importance of the patient perspective and the importance of cost, in the sense that the best care is delivered as economically as possible. It is clearly the desired destination, but understanding the context of HVC is critical to knowing how to get there.