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Health at a Glance 2013

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2013

This seventh 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 health costs, health activities and health results of health systems. Key health indicators provide information on health status including suicide and life expectancy, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries. Each health 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 health data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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Average length of stay in hospitals

The average length of stay in hospitals (ALOS) is often used as an indicator of efficiency. All other things being equal, a shorter stay will reduce the cost per discharge and shift care from inpatient to less expensive post-acute settings. However, shorter stays tend to be more service intensive and more costly per day. Too short a length of stay could also cause adverse effects on health outcomes, or reduce the comfort and recovery of the patient. If this leads to a greater readmission rate, costs per episode of illness may fall only slightly, or even rise.

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Graphs

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