Governments are increasingly stressing the importance of prevention rather than cure. Nowhere is the need to invest in prevention more urgent as when considering those diseases which are related to lifestyle choices. Many of the chronic diseases that are becoming more prevalent across OECD member countries are more likely to occur when individuals smoke, drink excessively, or become obese.
The HCQI project has identified health promotion, prevention and primary care as a priority area for further quality of care indicator development, to build on the existing suite of indicators relating to non-medical determinants of health (e.g. smoking, nutrition and alcohol consumption) and health status (e.g. diabetes, infant mortality, dental health).
Through the use of a structured review process, expert panels have previously evaluated and recommended indicators related to cardiac care, diabetes care and promotion and prevention for further consideration.
The following quality of care indicators, developed through the HCQI project, are currently considered suitable for international comparison:
- Avoidable asthma admission rate
- Avoidable COPD admission rate
- Avoidable diabetes acute complications admission rate
- Avoidable diabetes lower extremity admission rate
- Avoidable congestive heart failure admission rate
- Avoidable hypertension admission rate
- Rate of childhood vaccination for pertussis
- Rate of childhood vaccination for measles
- Rate of influenza vaccination for elderly people
Cross-national data and related information for these indicators are available here.
Further indicator development is currently underway under the guidance of a subgroup of national experts from OECD member states and collaborating countries.
The Economics of Prevention project is a related health project that analyzes trends in lifestyle risk factors for chronic disease and national policies relating to obesity, diet and physical activity.
OECD Health Care Quality Indicators Project
Selecting Indicators for the Quality of Cardiac Care at the Health Systems Level in OECD Countries (Health Technical Papers No. 14)
Selecting Indicators for the Quality of Diabetes Care at the Health Systems Level in OECD Countries (Health Technical Papers No. 15)
Selecting Indicators for the Quality of Health Promotion, Prevention and Primary Care at the Health Systems Level in OECD Countries (Health Technical Paper No. 16)