Lübeck Citizens Conference: Speaking about prioritization - Especially with the persons concerned

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This paper introduces the concept of priority setting in health care. Priority setting is understood as a notional approach to find out what to regard as more important or less important in health care. It primarily means to bring aspects into a ranking order. Priority setting is first and foremost theoretical work aimed at preparing decisions. It does not replace these decisions. Priority setting is not restricted to circumstances of scarce resources. It can be used, for example, for working more efficiently, for quality assurance, and also for rationing. Values or value decisions form the basis of priority setting. There should be a societal consensus regarding these values and the way priority setting is conducted. Priority settings can be done to very different objects, including objects from a macro-level, e. g. general goals of health care, from a meso-level, e. g. condition-treatment pairs, as well as from a micro-level, e. g. waiting lists. Swedish national prioritization guidelines serve as an example of how priority setting can be conducted. Here, condition-treatment pairs are developed on the basis of present health care occurrences. Then, priorities from 1 (highest priority) to 10 (lowest priority) are assigned on the basis of a priority setting model. The process includes all relevant stakeholders. Priorities are set on the basis of the severity of the problem, knowledge of the effect of an intervention and its cost-effectiveness, as well as the level of evidence of the knowledge contributing to the decision. In rehabilitation, priority setting is still an unfamiliar topic which only few scientific papers have taken up to date. Different aspects of priority setting that may be deemed important for rehabilitation are introduced. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
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