Study by EU Commission to help establish an EU health information system within three years as part of the Joint Action on Health Information of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety.

ST – 08/2017

The EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety commissioned the study and it was published this summer. In the course of the Joint Action, the next step is to establish an EU-wide health information system. The aim is to improve access to health information and data, as well as improve their quality and comparability. The Commission has identified three key areas on which the health information system should be based: 


  • a sound and internationally agreed classification of diseases and assessment of the health status of the population, as well as an overview of the financing and expenditure in each of the health care systems, 
  • establishing an operational system to collect data on the state of health of the population, 
  • a summary of measures and indicators that provides information on the health of the population.  

Two-phase implementation

In the first phase of introducing an operational system for data management, an inventory will be made of sources and methods used across the entire EU, and there will be an analysis of data requirements in the relevant fields. In addition to technical support at national level, the EU Commission also wants to specify indicators and quality standards. EU-wide data will also be collected, reported and analysed. In order to achieve these objectives, working groups will be formed to drive the project forwards. In the second phase, the health care systems will be assessed in collaboration and cooperation with Eurostat. 

Objectives of the Commission

Activities to establish the health information system started this year and will continue for three years. During this time, the EU Commission will work on improving the existing system for reporting on the health of the population. This will be done by including various existing systems and databases. The aim is to reduce the burden placed on the Member States with regard to collecting data, as well as to improve research and to assist legislators in their work.