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Health at a Glance: Europe 2010

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2010
This special edition of Health at a Glance focuses on health issues across the 27 European Union member states, three European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey. It gives readers a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of populations and the performance of health systems in these countries.Its 42 indicators present comparable data covering a wide range of topics, including health status, risk factors,  health workforce and health expenditure.

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 indicators and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context within which health systems operate.   

This publication is the result of collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission, with the help of national data correspondents from the 31 countries.

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Average Length of Stay in Hospitals

The average length of stay in hospitals is often regarded as an indicator of efficiency, since a shorter stay may reduce the cost per discharge and shift care from in-patient 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 have adverse effects on health outcomes, or reduce the comfort and recovery of the patient. If this leads to a rising readmission rate, costs per episode of illness may fall little, or even rise.

English

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