Health system performance comparison. An agenda for policy, information and research (2013)



Edited by Irene Papanicolas and Peter C. Smith
Published by Open University Press
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series
2013, xxv + 360 pages
ISBN 978 0 33 524726 4
£ 29.99

The international comparison of health system performance has become increasingly popular, made possible by the rapidly expanding availability of health data. It has become one of the most important levers for prompting reform of health systems. Yet, as the demand for transparency and accountability in health care increases, so too does the need to make comparisons of data from different health systems both accurate and meaningful.

This timely and authoritative book offers an important summary of the current developments in health system performance comparison. It summarizes the current efforts to compare systems, and identifies and explores the practical and conceptual challenges that arise. It discusses data and methodological challenges, as well as broader issues such as the interface between evidence and practice.

The book outlines the priorities for future work on performance comparison, in the development of data sources and measurement instruments, analytic methodology, and assessment of evidence on performance. It concludes by presenting the key lessons and future priorities, and thus offers a rich source of material for policy-makers, their analytic advisors, international agencies, academics and students of health systems.