How to make sense of health system efficiency comparisons?

by Jonathan Cylus, Irene Papanicolas, Peter C Smith
World Health Organization (acting as the host organization for, and secretariat of, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies), 2017

28 pp. 2.1 MB

Efficiency is of primary interest to policy-makers and managers in the health sector. However, in order to improve health system efficiency we must not only be able to measure it, but also be able to identify the root causes of any variability in performance. This new policy brief proposes an analytic framework for better interpreting and understanding some of the most commonly used health care efficiency indicators capturing various production processes within health systems. The framework highlights what the data can – and cannot – tell us about efficiency and provides some guidance for those seeking to explain observed variations.

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