Six countries use all of their national health care datasets to regularly report about the quality and performance of health care
Among the countries participating in this study, Canada, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom (Scotland) reported that all of their key national health care datasets are analysed to produce regularly reported indicators of health care quality or health system performance (Table 2.1).
Most countries reported developing indicators for health care quality or health system performance monitoring from hospital in-patient data (19 countries) and cancer registry data (18 countries); followed by mental hospital in-patient data (15 countries) and population health survey data (14 countries). About half of countries have gone further and are developing indicators across the continuum of health care.
Finland, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Scotland and Wales) have the highest proportion of key national health datasets sharing the same unique patient ID number
Most countries participating in this study have essential elements to develop health care pathway data. The majority have national datasets with records for patients or persons for at least hospital in-patient data, mental hospital in-patient data, cancer registry data, mortality data and population survey and census data (Table 2.6). Further, a majority of these datasets contain a number for each patient that uniquely identifies them and could be used for an approved data linkage, such as a social insurance number or a health insurance number. Others often have identifying variables, such as names, addresses and dates of birth that could be used to establish a dataset linkage.
Nonetheless, there is a problem among OECD countries in the consistency in which a common unique patient ID number is captured within key national health datasets. Iceland (100%) and Sweden (90%) clearly stand out in terms of the proportion of key national health datasets sharing the same unique ID, followed by the United Kingdom (Scotland) at 78% and Finland at 73% (Table 2.1).