EU Expert Group presents report on quality assurance of health systems
Following 18 months of research, the Expert Group on Health System Performance Assessment (HSPA), which was established by the Commission in 2014, has now published their report. Representatives from 29 EU and EFTA countries, the Commission, WHO, the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies took part.
They created a study of various models of quality assurance in the healthcare sector. The group was founded as a forum to exchange best-practice examples. Thus, the aim was not expressly to compare the quality of health services but rather to exchange ideas and experiences related to quality assurance. Differences between countries and various quality levels were to be taken into account.
The report presented in detail the systems of nine different countries, including Germany. The report points out that HSPA has a significant impact on the quality of health services and should be further pursued. The Expert Group does not speak of a uniform definition of quality but rather refers to the different factors which determine the quality of a health service. Although indicators that are clearly measurable could point towards particular strengths or weaknesses of a service, the experts stated that they shouldn’t be used as a final standard. Nevertheless, various measures were recommended in order to ensure effective quality assurance. An example of this is the use of clear and unambiguous indicators in independent studies. The results should be passed on in an understandable format to policy decision-makers in order to initiate and influence policy measures. According to the Expert Group, this approach has proven to be beneficial.