Reviews of National Health Care Quality



Released January 10, 2017



OECD Health Care Quality Reviews provide a toolkit to improve the quality of health care

Over the past four years, the OECD has conducted a series of in-depth reviews of the policies and institutions that underpin the measurement and improvement of health care quality in 15 different health systems. Caring for Quality in Health: Lessons learnt from 15 reviews of health care quality seeks to answer the question of what caring for quality means for a modern health care system by identifying what policies and approaches work best in improving quality of care.

Despite differences in health care system priorities, and in how quality-improvement tools are designed and applied, a number of common approaches and shared challenges emerged across the 15 OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality analysed. The most important of these concerns transparency. Governments should encourage, and where appropriate require, health systems and health care providers to be open about the effectiveness, safety and patient-centredness of care they provide.

More measures of patient outcomes are also needed - especially those reported by patients themselves. These should underpin standards, guidelines, incentives and innovations in service delivery. Greater transparency can lead to optimisation of both quality and efficiency – twin objectives which reinforce, rather than subvert, each other. In practical terms, greater transparency and better performance can be supported by changes in where and how care is delivered; changes in the roles of patients and professionals; and employing tools such as data and incentives more effectively. Key actions in these three areas are set out in the 12 lessons presented in this synthesis report.


Why review health care quality policies?

  • OECD countries spent nearly a tenth of their GDP on health. As spending rises, there is pressure to ensure that resources help people live healthier lives.
  • Most OECD countries have seen increased public interest in ensuring that patients receive care that is safe, effective, and responsive to their needs.
  • OECD Health Care Quality Indicators show wide variations in quality across OECD countries, yet little is known about the policies that sit behind the numbers.


The country reports, published in English or French, are available for download below and on the OECD iLibrary.



Australia - Released 15 November 2015



Czech Republic - Released 25 June 2014



Denmark - Released 30 April 2013



Israel - Released 26 November 2012



Italy - Released 15 January 2015



Japan - Released 21 August 2015



Korea - Released 21 March 2012



Norway - ‌Released 21 May 2014



Portugal - ‌Released 27 May 2015



Sweden - ‌Released 12 December 2013‌



Turkey - ‌Released 25 November 2014



United Kingdom - ‌Released 12 February 2016

For a description of the health system in these countries and many others, visit the European Observatory's Health Systems in Transition (HiT) series.


Ms. Francesca Colombo (tel.: +33 1 45 24 93 60 or
Mr. Ian Forde (tel.: +33 1 45 24 81 24 or
Mr. Ian Brownwood (tel.: +33 1 45 24 92 79 or


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