Improving Healthcare Quality in Europe

Characteristics, Effectiveness and Implementation of Different Strategies

Quality improvement initiatives take many forms, from the creation of standards for health

professionals, health technologies and health facilities, to audit and feedback, and from

fostering a patient safety culture to public reporting and paying for quality. For policymakers

who struggle to decide which initiatives to prioritise for investment, understanding

the potential of different quality strategies in their unique settings is key.

This volume, developed by the Observatory together with OECD, provides an overall conceptual framework for understanding and applying strategies aimed at improving quality of care. Crucially, it summarizes available evidence on different quality strategies and provides

recommendations for their implementation. This book is intended to help policy-makers to

understand concepts of quality and to support them to evaluate single strategies and

combinations of strategies.

Quality of care is a political priority and an important contributor to population health. This

book acknowledges that "quality of care" is a broadly defined concept, and that it is often

unclear how quality improvement strategies fit within a health system, and what their

particular contribution can be. This volume elucidates the concepts behind multiple elements

of quality in healthcare policy (including definitions of quality, its dimensions, related activities,

and targets), quality measurement and governance and situates it all in the wider context of

health systems research. By so doing, this book is designed to help policy-makers prioritize

and align different quality initiatives and to achieve a comprehensive approach to quality

improvement.

English