Assessing the performance of health systems is essential to understanding how they work, and therefore to improving them. It is a complex process that involves statistical measurements, deep analysis and development of practical actions. Sound health system performance assessment (HSPA) is achieved through the joint actions of different players, including policy-makers, statistical institutes, researchers, healthcare providers, and patients.
HSPA provides a strong evidence-based approach to policy making. It may also serve as a strategic framework for health providers to monitor progress and assess best practices, by linking health outcomes to the strategies and functions of the health system.
Furthermore, a good performance assessment provides transparency and objective evidence that ensures accountability to citizens. Good knowledge of the way health systems work is also the precondition to designing effective improvements for the benefit of patients.
The European Commission set up an Expert Group on Health Systems Performance Assessment to provide EU countries with a forum to exchange experiences in this field and to support national policy-makers by identifying tools and methodologies to develop HSPA. International organisations such as the WHO and the OECD proactively contribute to the work of the Expert Group.
Its annual workload is framed around priority areas focusing on the identification of tools and methodologies to assess a different topic each year i.e. quality of care, integrated care, and primary care.
The Expert Group supports tailored activities in countries that are interested, in digging deeper into performance assessment at national level. It also engages to direct political attention to the issue of HSPA, so that its results contribute to sound policy-making.
Reports of the Expert Group
- A new drive for primary care in Europe: rethinking the assessment tools and methodologies
- So What? Strategies across Europe to assess quality of care
- Blocks: Tools and methodologies to assess integrated care in Europe