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Health at a Glance 2015

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2015

This new edition of Health at a Glance presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for partner countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russian Federation and South Africa). Compared with the previous edition, this new edition includes a new set of dashboards of health indicators to summarise in a clear and user-friendly way the relative strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries on different key indicators of health and health system performance, and also a special focus on the pharmaceutical sector. This edition also contains new indicators on health workforce migration and on the quality of health care.

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Surgical complications

Patient safety remains one of the most prominent issues in health policy and public debate. High rates of error 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). Robust comparison of performance with peers is fundamental to securing improvement. Two types of patient safety event can be distinguished for this purpose: never events, those events that should never occur, such as failure to remove surgical foreign bodies at the end of a procedure; and adverse events, such as post-operative sepsis, which can not be avoided in all cases given the high-risk nature of some procedures, although increased incidence at an aggregate level may indicate a systemic problem.

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