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EuroREACH A Handbook to Access Health Care Data for Cross-country Comparisons of Efficiency and Quality

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Improved access to health care data through country comparison

The EUROREACH initiative was established to generate an EU inventory of health care system performance in each European country, the Health Data Navigator. This online, centralised database contains relevant information on patient data, quality and outcome information of health care practices, thereby encouraging the exchange of best practices to bridge efficacy issues.

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International collaborative projects often rely on the availability of missing or fragmented health care information in different countries. Therefore, the development of a validated health system performance framework that stores health care information with particular focus on quality and efficiency would offer a solution to this shortcoming. The EU-funded EUROREACH project was a collaborative effort among EU countries to improve the access to and use of health care data. By reviewing the health care information and information systems in various EU countries, the EUROREACH initiative aimed to generate a handbook that contained all the relevant information on a country basis and allowed cross-country comparisons of health system performance. EUROREACH partners concluded that a large number of projects collect and publish health indicators for assessing the performance of health care systems. However, data relating to health care quality, effective care use and equity of access are lacking. EUROREACH outcomes largely benefited from the guidance of a number of external experts panels and sounding board meetings. The generated handbook was provided online as a Health Data Navigator, presenting the EUROREACH project results and links to international health care databases. Diabetes was used as a case study for testing the feasibility of using administrative patient-level data to compare the patient care and outcomes in three partner countries (Estonia, Finland and Israel). The outcome of this comparison clearly demonstrated that by using consistent methodology it was possible to provide unique, relevant and reliable information on performance indicators. With the ultimate goal to provide access to existing international and national health care data and best practices, the EUROREACH initiative generated and implemented an online framework with health care performance information. This handbook will essentially facilitate the organisation of health care-related information in terms of objectives, functions and processes that are essential for attaining public health.

Keywords

Health system performance, online framework, health care data, individual level data, health information system,

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