New policy brief provides guidance for assessing health system efficiency

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has released a new Policy Brief to support policy-makers in assessing and comparing health system efficiency. The brief entitled ‘How to make sense of health system efficiency comparisons?’ provides an analytic framework for better interpreting and understanding some of the most commonly used health care efficiency indicators capturing various production processes within health systems.

The framework highlights what the data can – and cannot – reveal about efficiency and provides some guidance for those seeking to explain observed variations.

Efficiency is of primary interest to policy-makers and managers in the health sector. However, in order to improve health system efficiency there must be mechanisms in place to not only measure it, but also to be able to identify the root causes of any variability in performance.