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An overview of OECD work on Employment, Social Protection and International Migration.
Health data constitutes a significant resource in most OECD countries that could be used to improve population health, the quality of health care and the performance of health systems. Rising levels of chronic diseases; concerns about the quality and safety of patient care; the need to assure value for investments in health care; and the need to allocate health resources wisely; are all too important to be left without good evidence for decision making.
This book, based on studies of 19 countries on the development and use of personal health data and of 25 countries on development and use of electronic health record systems, includes results showing good practices, new opportunities and data privacy protection challenges. It finds that well-intended policies to allay concerns about breaches of confidentiality and potential misuse of personal health data may be limiting data use, but that the next five years appear promising, in terms of both the number of countries that plan to implement national electronic health record systems and the number that consider it likely that data from these systems will be used for some aspects of health care quality monitoring. They also appear promising for the further use of existing personal health databases and for the linkage of multiple data sources to generate new evidence.
Income inequality increased by more in the first three years of the crisis to the end of 2010 than it had in the previous twelve years, before factoring in the effect of taxes and transfers on income, according to new OECD data.
What is the extent and impact of the international mobility of skills? What can ensure that highly educated youth are used to their full potential and contribute to development by staying in their country or migrating? How to improve the matching between supply and demand for skills between potential (return) migrants and employers in destination and origin countries and in particular in sectors such as health and education?
Korea should strengthen its social safety net and improve support for laid-off workers to help them find a new job more quickly, according to a new OECD report.
In Korea's dynamic labour market, job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over the course of their working lives. Some workers are more vulnerable than others to this risk and may face long periods of unemployment/inactivity after displacement, particularly if their skills are not well-matched to emerging job opportunities. Even when they find new jobs, displaced workers tend to be paid less, have fewer benefits and are more likely to be overskilled than in the jobs they held prior to displacement. Helping displaced workers get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. To achieve this goal, Korea needs to increase resources devoted to re-employment programmes, such as job-search training and job matching, to improve their performance and better target those who need the most help. Existing training programmes need to be revised to ensure that people are obtaining skills that will help them find work. The social safety net also needs to be strengthened to lower the personal and societal costs of displacement, notably by improving the coverage of unemployment benefits.
This review of health care quality in Denmark examines policies related to quality and includes chapters covering primary and integrated care, hospital specialisation and equity. It finds that with a dense array of disease- and service-focused quality initiatives, and with information on the quality of care stored in separate data repositories, Denmark needs to create effective links and synergies between them to drive up quality in the healthcare system as a whole, rather than in disconnected elements.
Primary care will be central in meeting Denmark’s future healthcare challenges of an ageing population with multiple chronic conditions. Therefore, an urgent need is to create a national vision of how a modernised primary care sector will fulfill this new coordination role. National standards, clinical guidelines, accreditation of clinical pathways and targeted financial incentive programmes could support this role, along with more transparent and formalised continual professional development.
To facilitate quality improvement from the ambitious hospital rationalisation, Denmark should collect and disseminate data on the quality of individual physicians as well as the hospitals. Undergraduate training and medical research should be reviewed in light of the new service arrangements. Close surveillance will be needed to monitor whether certain patient groups forego healthcare because travel times to providers are too long. Limited data availability complicate Denmark’s ability to monitor its commitment to equitable healthcare. There is an urgent need for renewed action to tackle risk factors of chronic ill-health that disproportionately affect low-income groups. Better information on the impact of user-charges on unmet need in low-income groups is needed.
The Danish central government and regions are leading international efforts to reform hospital systems, improving quality and safety by gathering specialists into major hospitals and closing smaller ones.
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Hospital Volumes: An International Perspective on Germany. Presentation by Mark Pearson during the BMG-OECD Conference on Managing Hospital Volumes, Berlin, April 2013.
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This Brief looks at the upcoming publication "Strengthening Health Information Infrastructure For Health Care Quality Governance" and argues that privacy-respectful uses of data for health, health care quality and health system performance monitoring and research must become widespread, regular activities.