Design and Analysis of Health Products and Services: An Example at a Specialized COPD Unit

The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal 20 Feb 2008 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874306400802010007


Health care demands have increased dramatically in recent decades. With the introduction of major changes in the management of health problems, health care costs have spiralled. Today, in the interests of cost control, medicine is geared towards outpatient care whenever possible.

In this process, the medical community has been obliged to adapt its traditional criteria to the dictates of national economies. Today the criteria for the organization and evaluation of the health services are based on the concepts of efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency. This has led to the emergence of a new discipline for the design and evaluation of medical service production, known as servuction, an amalgam of “service” and “production”. The organigram of a new health product should include the problems the program faces and the steps proposed to overcome these problems.

The concept of evaluation can be divided into two categories: administrative evaluation, and evaluative research. Avedis Donabedian was one of the founders of evaluative research, based on an easy-to-remember triad: structure-process-results. In the final evaluation of a new health care model, the innovations it provides must be considered.

In this article we describe the stages involved in the design of a new health product and correlate them with the types of evaluation that should be applied at each point in the process. Our discussion addresses general aspects of servuction, but also focuses on the design of a particular service, created to care for patients with severe COPD.

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