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 the Quality of Hospital Care

The State of the Art

The quality of hospital care has become a focal point in the regulation of health systems. This can be put down to several factors: the funding crisis, greater public demands on health care professionals owing in part to the wider availability of health-related information and, finally, the development of new data processing technologies. This combination of factors has caused the medical profession’s monopoly to be called into question and has prompted calls for the development of external schemes to monitor, and even control, service provision…

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