Health policies and data

Health Care Quality and Outcomes


Consideration of the quality and outcomes of care is fundamental to pursuing the efficiency and fairness objectives of health systems. Patients are more than ever actively looking to ensure that the care they receive is of high value, balancing concerns over care costs with preferences for care that is more clinically effective, safe and responsive to their needs. The OECD is working with member countries to establish metrics that can provide helpful insights into the quality and outcomes of care provided by its member countries. These metrics provide a sound foundation for analysis of key drivers of performance and for sharing and learning on effective national policies and strategies.

The work of the OECD on quality and outcomes is overseen by an international group of experts representing the 35 OECD member countries and other collaborating countries and organisations.


Patient-Reported Indicators Survey (PaRIS)

Health care seeks to improve people’s well-being and their ability to play an active role in society. Yet health systems know very little about how often they achieve this.The success of health care is typically measured by survival rates, or rates of cure, after treatment. Often, though, differences between the best- and worst performing hospitals are small. It is only when we measure outcomes reported by patients themselves – such as quality of life – that important differences in the outcomes of care emerge.

The OECD is a global leader in collecting, reporting and benchmarking health system performance and health care quality indicators. The Patient-Reported Indicators Survey (PaRIS) will address these critical information gaps and build a patient-centred view of health system performance.

Policies For Better Health System Performance

Building on the rich data holding of the OECD and its member countries, the OECD undertakes in-depth analysis and review of the quality and outcomes of care for specific conditions and is invited to carry out focused reviews of the policies and strategies of member countries. This work is placed in an international context whereby the various approaches taken by OECD member countries can be compared and contrasted with a view to identifying and sharing examples of good practice.

Policies for Strengthening Health Data Infrastructure

The capacity to measure, monitor and report on national health care quality and outcomes is largely dependent on the existence of well-developed data infrastructure. To support patient-centred care that spans the spectrum of care modalities required to meet the acute and ongoing health needs of people in the community, there is increasing demand for patient data and information to be linked and shared across providers and monitored over time. Appropriate safeguards for patient privacy and data confidentiality are required for safe and responsible use of health data in this context, including enabling regulation and legislation in OECD member countries.

Data for Measuring Health Care Quality and Outcomes

The comparison of the quality and outcomes of care across countries provides a basis for learning and sharing, and identifying opportunities for improvement for OECD countries. The OECD has been progressively developing and reporting on a suite of international quality and outcome metrics for over 15 years. The current suite of indicators covers prevention, primary care, acute care and the care of chronic condition. Through a program of ongoing research and development, the indicators undergo methodological refinement and periodic review to ensure they are both robust for international purposes and actionable in member countries.

Hip fracture surgery initiation after admission to the hospital, 2015 (or nearest year)

Hip fracture surgery initiation after admission to hospital

1. Hungary only provided data for within two calendar days.
2. Sweden provided data within 12, 24 and 48 hours.
Source: Health at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators.
Access the data behind the graph.


Health systems across the OECD face increasing pressures to demonstrate value for money and remain financially sustainable as they seek to address the growing and changing health needs in their communities. Patients are more than ever actively looking to ensure the care they receive is clinically effective, safe and responsive to their needs. In responding to this context, the forward program of work on health in the OECD is focused on addressing priority policy issues for member countries and exploring more effective ways to provide insights into the quality and outcomes of care within and across countries.

  • Dementia
  • Actionability of Patient Safety Indicators (coming soon)
  • Hospital Performance (coming soon)
  • Low-Value Care (coming soon)


OECD member and partner countries span the major continents of the world. The OECD is aligning its work on health care quality and outcomes with broader consideration of health, social and economic policy at the regional level. Building on a strong regional focus in Europe, the OECD has been successful in actively developing and establishing partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region and is now progressing similar activities in the Latin America region. This is allowing countries of the regions to focus on shared priorities and opportunities to learn from each other across the region and within a global context.

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