Forum on the Quality of Care


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Health care errors occur in over 10% of hospital stays in OECD countries, nearly half of which can be prevented or avoided. Medical errors have probably killed more people in the US than traffic accidents. 40% of UK hospital emergency admissions could be avoided if better primary care is provided. Poor quality of care is bad for everyone. Most importantly, patients suffer, but beyond this, health care costs are higher than they need to be.

A high-level policy Forum, including Ministers and leading experts will discuss how to develop and use quality indicators to improve health care.





The OECD Health Care Quality Indicators (HCQI) team, has been developing internationally comparative information on the health of populations and the costs of health care since 2001. Information on a growing number of quality indicators covering area’s such as primary care (by measuring avoidable hospital admissions), acute care (by measuring in-hospital case fatality rates for AMI and stroke), mental health care (by recording re-admission rates to hospitals) and cancer care (gathering data on five-year survival, mortality and screening) is now available. Currently we are working on indicators on patient safety and the measuring of patient experiences.


In order to improve health care, quality indicators need to be of high quality. The problem facing many countries is that their health information systems need improving. Greater use of unique patient identifiers to match information from different data sources would often help enormously for example, however, too many countries have yet to introduce these.

Issues to be discussed

  • What do we know about quality of care from the work done at the OECD and elsewhere?
  • How can national information infrastructures be improved to meet data needs for calculating valid and reliable quality indicators?
  • How should quality measures be used as part of national strategies and policies to improve quality and the overall performance of health care systems?



Click here to see the Click here to see the Forum Programme which includes:

  • Presentations by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) and the OECD
  • Stakeholder panel with representatives from the medical professionals (World Medical Association), hospital management (International Hospital Federation), patients (International Alliance of Patient Organisations), industry, trade unions and indicator experts
  • Roundtable discussion by Ministers of health from various OECD countries

Time and Place

The Forum on the Quality of Care will be held on 7 October 2010, from 9:00 am till 12:30 pm, at the OECD Headquarters.



Please note that registration for the Forum is now closed.


Event of interest


Interested parties may also like to know that the 27th International Conference of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) is being held in Paris just after this meeting on 10-13 October. Click here for details.