Measuring Up

Improving Health System Performance in OECD Countries

image of Measuring Up

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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Providing Performance Information for Consumers

Experience from the United States

This paper provides a market-based example of using performance measurement to promote health care quality improvement. Underlying this approach is a model of informed consumers making choices among competing health care providers based on cost and quality. Providing information to consumers on quality can create incentives for providers to improve their performance as they attempt to maintain or expand their market share. The paper focuses on efforts in the United States to provide performance information to consumers. It provides an overview of current performance measurement and reporting efforts and summarizes empirical literature on the effects of such efforts on quality improvement. In brief, these efforts are in their early stages and have not yet had a large impact.... 

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