The Eight Tenets of Primary Health Care Improvement
In 2014 Ariadne Labs was tasked with analyzing high-performing primary health care systems around the world to develop recommendations for strengthening primary health care delivery in China. The results were distilled into the Eight Tenets of Primary Health Care Improvement, which have been used to inform widespread health care reform in provinces across China.
In the 2010s, the Chinese health system was facing mounting internal and external pressures, including rapidly rising costs, an aging population, rising non-communicable diseases and a fragmented and hospital-centric structure. High-risk behaviors like smoking, sedentary lifestyles, and alcohol consumption as well as air pollution took a huge toll on health. Expenditures on health were continuously increasing, which was difficult to sustain amid the country’s economic slowdown.
In 2014 the Chinese government, the World Bank and the World Health Organization launched the China Health Study to make recommendations for sweeping health reforms. As part of this effort, Ariadne Labs was engaged to examine high-performing primary health care systems with the goal of creating recommendations for strengthening primary health care delivery to achieve people-centered, integrated care in China. Ariadne’s Primary Health Care Team analyzed nineteen case studies describing 22 PHC performance improvement initiatives from China and around the world and pinpointed common themes of high-performing systems in middle and high-income countries. These themes were distilled into the Eight Tenets of Primary Health Care Improvement. They are:
First Point of Contact
Pathways and Referrals
Adapted from improvingphc.org/promising-practices.
- The Eight Tenets were formalized as the first, foundational chapter of the resulting report, Deepening Health Reform in China.
- The tenets led directly to the development, implementation, and testing of the Luohu Model in Luohu district, China
- In September 2017, this model for people-centered integrated care was introduced to the whole country by the Chinese government.
- The Eight Tenets have also garnered interest outside of China. Their introduction to policymakers and technical experts at a JLN Global Meeting in Malaysia in 2016 led to the formation of a JLN Collaborative on People-Centered Integrated Care.