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Methods of assessing response to quality improvement strategies

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Focus on cross-border healthcare

Health services should be provided seamlessly for EU citizens crossing borders, but lack of harmonisation and policy in this domain are hampering the provision of quality services.

Climate Change and Environment

While healthcare in EU nations is more of a national matter, economic and social integration are leading to more coordinated health systems and EU funding. The EU has undertaken numerous projects to analyse healthcare quality, including current systems and policies, in order to upgrade the healthcare sector in member nations. With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'Methods of assessing response to quality improvement strategies' (Marquis) aimed to evaluate different quality approaches and produce valuable research on the topic. In particular, the project sought to provide information on quality requirements for cross-border patients and support individual hospitals in developing quality strategies. It investigated types of cross-border care, such as for visitors abroad, medical tourists or retiring long-term residents, noting that most frequent ailments involve the circulatory system or bone fractures. Marquis also looked at how to improve communication with patients from other countries and overcome differences related to consent procedures, drug safety, patient discharge or organ transplants, among other issues. With respect to quality strategies in hospitals across EU Member States, the project identified to what extent countries adopted audits, clinical practice guidelines, performance indicators and other aspects and its relation with clinical effectiveness, patient safety and patient centeredness outputs. It classified countries that are well established in their strategies versus recent adaptors or slow starters which were advised to emulate other Member States through proper legislation. The project also studied strategies that are effective at hospital level and looked at how these approaches, including associated policies and procedures, affect hospital output goals. The research results could benefit not only EU countries but others such as Australia and the United States, while these countries' experiences could also help accelerate research and quality levels. In the long run, the project's findings are set to help mobile citizens across Europe and possibly outside Europe to receive the quality healthcare that they deserve.

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