Tackling the 60:30:10 Challenge

Photo of Professors Braithwaite, Glasziou, and Westbrook
Professors Braithwaite, Glasziou, and Westbrook

Healthcare systems are stuck in a rut. Despite countless reform efforts, the systems’ performance remains substantially the same: ~60% of care is in line with evidence-based guidelines, ~30% is wasteful or of low value to the patient, and ~10% is harmful. These numbers have not changed for decades.

In “The three numbers you need to know about healthcare: the 60-30-10 Challenge”, published in BMC Medicine in May 2020, PCHSS investigators Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Professor Paul Glasziou, and Professor Johanna Westbrook explain the problem with current healthcare systems and suggest ways to make forward progress. They argue that to tackle the 60:30:10 Challenge health systems need to move away from top-down, linear models of change based on discrete interventions, and instead embrace the insights of complexity science to build virtuous cycles of continuous improvement.

They propose that a learning healthcare system, where knowledge generation is embedded in routine care practices, is a potential solution to this problem. The authors conclude:

All modern health systems are awash with data, but it is only recently that we have been able to bring this together, operationalised, and turned into useful information by which to make more intelligent, timely decisions than in the past.

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