Measuring Up

Improving Health System Performance in OECD Countries

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How can we measure the performance of different health systems, and how can we use such information to support on-going health systems improvement? Those are the central questions addressed in this volume. Health policy makers have a growing interest in finding ways of encouraging health systems to improve their performance, where performance is measured against quality, efficiency or equity goals. Improving performance has the potential to reduce the tensions between rising demands and limited resources. There is also a growing demand for accountability among funders and providers of health services.

This book highlights the core elements of a possible performance measurement framework to assess health systems at the international and national levels. It also addresses further challenges which remain: how do we overcome the lack of health outcome measures? How do we better align performance information and incentives with policy objectives? And how do we reconcile the traditional professional self-regulation approach with greater public accountability for health care quality?

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Measuring Health System Performance and the Impact on Political Decision-making

The Views of OECD Ministers

The Ottawa conference concluded with a Ministerial Roundtable to discuss successes and challenges in measuring health system performance and its impact on political decision-making. The

Secretary-General of the OECD, Donald Johnston, invited Ministers to share their thoughts on three questions:

• to what extent can performance reporting become a key instrument in health policy and management?

• what are the potential benefits and risks of releasing public performance reports?

• can countries improve performance by sharing information and, if so, how best to go about it?

The opening remarks of each Minister were followed by a lively period of “questions and answers” with conference participants.

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