Portuguese value-based healthcare project receives accolade from the World Economic Forum

By | March 25, 2021

A Portuguese cataract surgery project has been distinguished for its innovation by the World Economic Forum’s global coalition for value in healthcare. 

Health Cluster Portugal (HCP) launched the value-based healthcare in cataract surgery (VBHCAT) initiative with the aim of designing a rigorous and credible benchmarking system, focused on health outcomes for patients.   

The project uses cutting-edge technology to collect and analyse data from clinicians and patients aided by the Portuguese startup Promptly. Its recently published first annual report details assessment results of the impact of cataract surgery on more than 11,000 patients in 13 national hospitals. 

VBHCAT has been invited to participate in the Global Innovation Hub for Value in Healthcare community, which brings together the world’s best practices to help transition from current production-based healthcare payment models to future value-based models.  

Participants in the project include: São João Hospital Centre, Porto Hospital Centre, Braga Hospital, Coimbra University Hospital Centre, Northern Lisbon Hospital Centre, Central Lisbon Hospital Centre, Gama Pinto Institute, five units of CUF Group, Coimbra Ophthalmology Unit, Unidade de Oftalmologia de Coimbra (UOC), Novartis, Alcon, Bayer and Edol. 

Later this year, HCP plans to expand the VBHCAT project to other specialties. 


The VBHCAT project hopes to promote a culture of continuous improvement in a high-volume surgery with a high impact on patients’ quality of life and costs to the national health service. 

It also aims to serve as a reference for clinical excellence, by providing ongoing information for clinicians and citizens, enabling patients to make well-informed decisions about their health. 


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The world will spend an estimated $ 25 trillion a year on healthcare by 2040, representing a 150% increase since 2014, according to figures from the World Economic Forum

Value-based healthcare systems aim to create a more sustainable and equitable health sector by continuously improving the relationship between health outcomes and costs.

Last year, Healthcare IT News interviewed Diogo Martins, international projects coordinator at the Portuguese health ministry’s central purchasing and IT authority, SPMS, about the country’s digital health initiatives. Portuguese patients are able to manage their health via the online citizen area (RSE Área do Cidadão), where they can access their electronic health records (EHRs), book primary care appointments and access a suite of digital tools.  

In 2019, Portugal launched its flagship National Strategic Telehealth Plan (PENTS), to advance telehealth and place patients at the centre of consultations. 


HCP business director, Joana Feijó, said: “We are very proud of this recognition and it shows that we are on the right path towards adding value to health in Portugal by placing the citizen/patient at the centre of the system.” 

HCP is due to take part in a session on value-based care at the HIMSS21 & Health 2.0 European Health Conference on 7 June, 2021. 

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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