HCR.20.087 – Optimal resource use in healthcare

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 094 How do we improve the quality of health care as much as possible while keeping it affordable?

Covid-19 has confronted us with a sudden scarcity in resources in healthcare (ICU beds, personnel). However, there is often or even continuous scarcity in healthcare, due to financial constraints or insufficient capacity. To improve quality of health care as much as possible while keeping it affordable, it is crucial to optimally use available capacity as well as to optimally allocate scarce resources, i.e. to those interventions that result in most health benefit.
To address this complex challenge, we aim to compile a multidisciplinary consortium to develop a framework to optimize the use of available resources and to prioritize health care interventions in case of scarcity. We hypothesize that resources in health care are underused because of suboptimal capacity management and that a substantial part of interventions currently performed in healthcare have only small health benefits.
The basis of the project will be a decision model that we developed to estimate the impact of postponing surgery on health to guide prioritization of semi-elective surgeries across disciplines, and that can be linked to capacity such as staff, number of beds, and medical equipment. Within the project this model will be extended to estimate the benefits and costs of other healthcare interventions, linked to dynamic capacity models, co-developed with ethicists and stakeholders (patients, professionals, providers, payers and policymakers) into a general framework for capacity management and prioritization in healthcare, and implemented.
In addition to the expertise already present in our initiative, we are therefore looking for collaboration with experts in shared decision making, capacity management, and implementation, from various disciplines and sectors, and with payers, policy makers and patient organizations.
The project will result a completely new view on resource allocation in healthcare, which will lead to more efficient use of scarce resources to achieve the highest health benefit.


capacity, clinical decision making, cost-effectiveness, health outcomes, shared decision making

Other organisations



Organisation Erasmus MC (EMC)
Name Dr. H.F. (Hester) Lingsma
E-mail h.lingsma@erasmusmc.nl