Public reporting on quality, waiting times and patient experience in 11 high-income countries

Health Policy. 2016 Apr;120(4):377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 Feb 26.


This article maps current approaches to public reporting on waiting times, patient experience and aggregate measures of quality and safety in 11 high-income countries (Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States). Using a questionnaire-based survey of key national informants, we found that the data most commonly made available to the public are on waiting times for hospital treatment, being reported for major hospitals in seven countries. Information on patient experience at hospital level is also made available in many countries, but it is not generally available in respect of primary care services. Only one of the 11 countries (England) publishes composite measures of overall quality and safety of care that allow the ranking of providers of hospital care. Similarly, the publication of information on outcomes of individual physicians remains rare. We conclude that public reporting of aggregate measures of quality and safety, as well as of outcomes of individual physicians, remain relatively uncommon. This is likely to be due to both unresolved methodological and ethical problems and concerns that public reporting may lead to unintended consequences.

Keywords: Benchmarking; Patient satisfaction; Quality of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking / methods*
  • Benchmarking / standards
  • Developed Countries
  • Global Health
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hospitals / standards
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waiting Lists