New BCG Book Presents Road Map for Transformation of Health Care Sector

The Patient Priority Shows How Health Systems Around the World Can Deliver Better Health Outcomes for the Same or Lower Cost

BOSTON—To address the accumulating crises confronting the global health sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, health systems around the world need to refocus their efforts on delivering better health outcomes to patients for the money spent, according to a new book by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The book, entitled The Patient Priority: Solve Health Care’s Value Crisis by Measuring and Delivering Outcomes That Matter to Patients, is being launched today before an international audience of health care professionals at the tenth anniversary conference of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) in Boston.

Health Outcomes Measurement: the Key to Sustainable Health-System Reform

The Patient Priority is the product of more than a decade of research and consulting at BCG in the domain of value-based health care. Contrary to traditional approaches to health-systems reform that emphasize cost containment, value-based health care shifts the focus to continuous improvement in the health outcomes delivered to patients.

Through powerful case studies of leading value-based innovators around the world, the book shows how systematically measuring, tracking, and improving health outcomes over time allows health systems to:

  • deliver better patient outcomes and overall population health more consistently
  • identify and disseminate best-practice diagnostics and treatments more rapidly
  • control total health care costs more effectively (because unnecessary procedures are eliminated, expensive complications occur less frequently, and repeat treatments are avoided)
  • rebuild the trust and motivation of health professionals by aligning system performance goals with professional purpose

“The only way the health care sector can simultaneously contain costs and improve quality is by putting the continuous improvement in the delivery of health outcomes that matter to patients at the center of how individual provider organizations and entire national health systems are organized and managed,” said Dr. Stefan Larsson, BCG senior advisor, ICHOM co-founder, and lead author of the book. “This is what we mean by ‘the patient priority.’ How to make it real is the subject of our book.”

A Road Map for Health-System Transformation

The Patient Priority is a practical step-by-step guide for leaders of individual health care organizations who want to improve the value they deliver to patients. Dr. Thomas Lee, chief medical officer at Press Ganey Associates, Inc., and editor-in-chief of NEJM Catalyst, calls it “One of the best books on health care that I have ever read. It takes the concept of value-based health care from rhetoric to actionable frameworks for strategy and operations.”

The Patient Priority also presents a detailed road map for the value-based transformation of national health systems in which care pathways, payment models, digital infrastructure, and government policies and regulations are all aligned with the shared goal of improving patient value—making possible a new era of patient-centered innovation that brings about step function improvements in productivity, performance, and population health.

“The coronavirus pandemic had highlighted the urgent need for increased multi-stakeholder cooperation to transform health systems around the world,” said Rich Lesser, BCG’s global chair. “We are proud of BCG’s leadership role in the international value-based health care community, including our pro bono support of ICHOM. In The Patient Priority, our authors present a comprehensive agenda to secure the long-term sustainability of the world’s health systems and better health outcomes for patients.”

In addition to Dr. Larsson, the co-authors of The Patient Priority are Jennifer Clawson, a partner in BCG’s Madrid office and global head of the firm’s Center for Value in Health Care, and Josh Kellar, a partner in BCG’s Chicago office and coleader of BCG’s medical response to Covid-19.

The Patient Priority is published by McGraw Hill and is available at and other online book websites.

To view a three-minute video about the book, click here.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.
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