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OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Czech Republic 2014

Raising Standards

image of OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Czech Republic 2014

This book presents a comprehensive review of health care quality in the Czech Republic. It finds that over the past 20 years, the Czech Republic witnessed the unprecedented gains in quality of health care and life expectancy and successfully transferred its Semaschko system into the modern accessible health care system with private-public mix of providers. Nevertheless the health care system in the Czech Republic still has some way to go to achieve the outcomes of the best performing OECD members. While some of the gap might be caused by the one of the lowest levels of health care expenditures among OECD countries (7.2% GDP in 2011) there are possibilities to improve the outcomes without incurring much of the additional costs.

The Czech authorities should reach a consensus on the development of quality of care and data infrastructure and aim for sustainable long-term initiatives undisturbed by the political cycles in both of these areas. While the adverse events reporting and voluntary accreditation are the good steps towards the accountability of the providers, the government should do more in this area, undertake the effort to broaden the accreditation process and include outpatient care and link public health authorities to the quality agenda of inpatient care. In the area of data infrastructure more data should be gathered, the process of data gathering should be streamlined and administrative burden for the providers lowered primarily via the merging the data-collecting agencies. Finally, without the active participation of health insurance funds and proper reimbursement mechanisms in place the quality agenda will not be perceived as the priority.

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Quality of care policies in the Czech Republic

Life expectancy in the Czech Republic is higher than in several neighbouring countries and infant mortality rates are amongst the lowest in the OECD. Some indicators of the quality of care show very strong performance – 30-day mortality after acute myocardial infarction is below average and stroke 30-day mortality is only slightly above the OECD average. Yet other indicators are less reassuring – survival rates after a diagnosis of cancer, for example, are poor. This chapter reviews the policies and mechanisms in place to measure and improve the quality of health care in the Czech Republic. Accreditation of facilities is well developed and some specific initiatives, such as the national cancer registry, are also advanced. Nevertheless, compared with other OECD countries, other measures such as regular, open comparison of local quality indicators are less developed. The Czech Republic’s foremost aim should be to move to a quality architecture that allows the continuous, detailed and transparent measurement of health service performance. A more sophisticated data infrastructure will be needed to achieve this, as well as greater consistency of vision, policies and co-ordination across central government authorities.

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