Jaffe DH, Shmueli A, Ben-Yehuda A, Paltiel O, Calderon R, Cohen AD, Matz E, RosenblumJK, Wilf-Miron R, Manor O. Community Healthcare in Israel: Quality indicators 2007-2009.Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2011;1:3. doi:10.1186/2045-4015-1-3.
Background The National Program for Quality Indicators in Community Healthcare in Israel (QICH) was developed to provide policy makers and consumers with information on the quality of community healthcare in Israel. In what follows we present the most recent results of the QICH indicator set for 2009 and an examination of changes that have occurred since 2007.
Methods Data for 28 quality indicators were collected from all four health plans in Israel for the years 2007-2009. The QICH indicator set examined six areas of healthcare: asthma, cancer screening, cardiovascular health, child health, diabetes and immunizations for older adults.
Results Dramatic increases in the documentation of anthropometric measures were observed over the measurement period. Documentation of BMI for adolescents and adults increased by 30 percentage points, reaching rates of 61% and 70%, respectively, in 2009. Modest increases (3%-7%) over time were observed for other primary prevention quality measures including immunizations for older adults, cancer screening, anemia screening for young children, and documentation of cardiovascular risks. Overall, rates of recommended care for chronic diseases (asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) increased over time. Changes in rates of quality care for diabetes were varied over the measurement period.
Conclusions The overall quality of community healthcare in Israel has improved over the past three years. Future research should focus on the adherence to quality indicators in population subgroups and compare the QICH data with those in other countries. In addition, one of the next steps in assessing and further improving healthcare quality in Israel is to relate these process and performance indicators to health outcomes.
Israel has made impressive progress in improving performance on key measures of the quality of health care in the community in recent years. These achievements are all the more notable given Israel’s modest overall spending on health care and because they have accrued to virtually the entire population of the country. Health care systems in most developed nations around the world find themselves in a similar position today with respect to health care quality. Despite significantly increased improvement efforts over the past decade, routine safety processes, such as hand hygiene and medication administration, fail routinely at rates of 30% to 50%. People with chronic diseases experience preventable episodes of acute illness that require hospitalization due to medication mix-ups and other failures of outpatient management. Patients continue to be harmed by preventable adverse events, such as surgery on the wrong part of the body and fires in operating theaters. Health care around the world is not nearly as safe as other industries, such as commercial aviation, that have mastered highly effective ways to manage serious hazards. Health care organizations will have to undertake three interrelated changes to get substantially closer to the superlative safety records of other industries: leadership commitment to zero major quality failures, widespread implementation of highly effective process improvement methods, and the adoption of all facets of a culture of safety. Each of these changes represents a major challenge to the way today’s health care organizations plan and carry out their daily work. The Israeli health system is in an enviable position to implement these changes. Universal health insurance coverage, the enrolment of the entire population in a small number of health plans, and the widespread use of electronic health records provide advantages available to few other countries. Achieving and sustaining levels of safety comparable to, say, commercial aviation will be a long journey for health care–one we should begin promptly. (This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/1/1/3/)
Rosen B, Porath A, Pawlson LG, Chassin MR, Benbassat. Adherence to standards of care by health maintenance organizations in Israel and the USA. International Journal of Quality in Health Care 2011;23(1):15-25.
Background The health-care systems in the USA and Israel differ in organization, financing and expenditure levels. However, managed care organizations play an important role in both countries, and a comparison of the performance of their community-based health plans could inform policymakers about ways to improve the quality of care.
Objectives To compare the adherence to standards of care in Israel and in the USA.
Study design An observational study comparing trends in performance using data from reports of the National Quality Measures Program in Israel and of the National Committee for Quality Assurance in the USA.
Results Differences in specifications preclude a comparison between most measures in the two reports. However, the comparison of 11 similar measures in the 2007 reports indicates that performance was higher in the USA by 10 or more percentage points on four measures (flu immunization, medication for asthma, screening for colorectal cancer and monitoring for diabetic nephropathy). Performance was higher in Israel on three measures in patients with diabetes (blood pressure, lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and glycemic control), and similar on the remaining four measures. Between 2005 and 2007, quality of care improved in both countries. However, improvement was slower in the USA than in Israel.
Conclusions. In comparison with the USA, Israel achieves comparable health maintenance organization (HMO) quality on several primary care indicators and more rapid quality improvement, despite its substantially lower level of expenditure. Considering the differences between the two countries in settings and populations, further research is needed to assess the causes, generalizability and policy implications of these findings.