Background: This is the fourth in a series of papers reporting a program of Sustainability in Health care by Allocating Resources Effectively (SHARE) in a local healthcare setting. Healthcare decision-makers have sought to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services through removal or restriction of practices that are unsafe or of little benefit, often referred to as 'disinvestment'. A systematic, integrated, evidence-based program for disinvestment was being established within a large Australian health service network. Consumer engagement was acknowledged as integral to this process. This paper reports the process of developing a model to integrate consumer views and preferences into an organisation-wide approach to resource allocation. Methods: A literature search was conducted and interviews and workshops were undertaken with health service consumers and staff. Findings were drafted into a model for consumer engagement in resource allocation which was workshopped and refined. Results: Although consumer engagement is increasingly becoming a requirement of publicly-funded health services and documented in standards and policies, participation in organisational decision-making is not widespread. Several consistent messages for consumer engagement in this context emerged from the literature and consumer responses. Opportunities, settings and activities for consumer engagement through communication, consultation and participation were identified within the resource allocation process. Sources of information regarding consumer values and perspectives in publications and locally-collected data, and methods to use them in health service decision-making, were identified. A model bringing these elements together was developed. Conclusion: The proposed model presents potential opportunities and activities for consumer engagement in the context of resource allocation.
- Health technology
- Resource allocation