OECD health systems are under increasing pressure to improve their performance. Many OECD countries have now developed national performance frameworks and have implemented reforms aimed at improving the performance of their health systems. In addition, there is growing interest in international benchmarking of performance.
Successful performance measurement and management involves, typically, a series of related actions including: specifying the objectives of the health system; measuring key aspects of the structure, process and outcomes of the health system against these objectives; analysing the data collected to distinguish between controllable and uncontrollable variations; identifying suitable benchmarks; publishing the comparisons and benchmarks; and, if appropriate, implementing management action to raise performance levels towards the chosen benchmarks.
Much of the work in the Health Policy Unit is related to these themes. In particular, work is underway to review examples of the development of performance frameworks and performance management in Member countries. In addition, various projects are being undertaken to investigate international variations in health system performance across the OECD and to explore the causes of these variations.
Two documents are available on this topic: