Health at a Glance 2011

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2011

This sixth edition of Health at a Glance provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries. It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in the costs, activities and results of health systems. Key indicators provide information on health status, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries.   Each indicator in the book is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

English Also available in: French, Korean

Procedural or postoperative complications

Efforts to improve patient safety have sparked interest in reporting sentinel and adverse events arising from health care. Sentinel events are rare but dramatic incidents where medical errors may lead to tangible harm to patients. These, sometimes referred to as “never events”, indicate failure of safeguards to protect patients during care delivery. Foreign body left in during procedure is such an occurrence that reflects serious process problems. The indicator captures errors relating to the failure to remove surgical instruments (i.e. needles, knife blades, gauze swabs) at the end of a procedure. The most common risk factors that might cause retained bodies after surgery are emergencies, unplanned changes in procedure, changes in the surgical team during the procedure and patient obesity (Gawande et al., 2003). Preventive measures include counting procedures, a methodical wound exploration and effective communication among the surgical team.

English Also available in: French

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