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Ongoing Project: Use of Quality Information in the Swiss Healthcare System


How healthcare quality can be measured? What kind of data on quality of care is published, and how is it done? What are the intended target audiences for this information, what data do they need and why? These questions are being examined by the "Swiss Learning Health System" (SLHS) as a part of a project commissioned by the Swiss Federal Quality Commission.

Various measures and indicators are used to evaluate quality in different healthcare sectors. Such information can be used, for example, to assess the quality of surgical care in hospitals.

The ongoing project aims to understand how stakeholders in the Swiss healthcare system, such as hospitals, primary care practices, medical staff, insurance companies and patients, currently use information about quality of care and would like to use it in the future.

The project also investigates how information on quality of care is gathered and published in countries other than Switzerland. It covers all areas of healthcare, including outpatient primary care, hospital care, psychiatry, rehabilitation, home care and long-term care.

Public and Stakeholder Involvement

The SLHS collects information on the content and methodologies of various monitoring systems and quality dashboards. This process is enhanced through expert discussions. Information collection results are critically examined in several workshops with stakeholders from practice, politics, and research in Switzerland, as well as with the general public. Through this participatory process, recommendations for target group specific content, as well as for the measurement and publication of quality information in Switzerland, will be developed.

"With this project, we are laying the foundation for the (further) development of transparent quality information for all health sectors in order to create added value for the Swiss population," says Dr. Justus Vogel, Project Manager at the University of St. Gallen.

The project, which runs from December 2022 to August 2023, is led by the Chair of Healthcare Management at the School of Medicine at the University of St. Gallen and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at the University of Lucerne. Other collaborating partners are the Institute of Primary Care - University of Zurich, the Department of Business Economics, Health, and Social Care - Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana, and the Département Épidémiologie et systèmes de santé - Unisanté Lausanne.

The Federal Quality Commission, established in 2021, aims to strengthen the quality of the Swiss healthcare system within the framework of the Health Insurance Act. As part of its work, it advises the Federal Council on quality development in medical service provision and it commissions third parties to carry out national and regional quality development programs and scientific studies.

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