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.

English Also available in: French, Korean

Surgical complications

Patient safety remains one of the most prominent issues in health policy and public debate. High rates of errors during the delivery of medical care have been demonstrated repeatedly, including the landmark report by the Institute of Medicine which estimated that more people die from medical errors than from traffic injuries or breast cancer (Kohn et al., 2000). Two types of patient safety event can be distinguished: sentinel events that should never occur such as failure to remove surgical foreign bodies (e.g. gauze swabs) at the end of a procedure; and adverse events, such as post-operative sepsis, which can never be fully avoided given the high-risk nature of some procedures, although increased incidence at an aggregate level may indicate a systemic failing.

English Also available in: French


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