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Health Systems Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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The following is a list of publications produced by HSI related faculty and students. The link for each paper leads you to the citation, keyword, and abstract. For copies of the full papers, please use standard methods for obtaining academic publications, such as online library searches.

Comparing national health systems worldwide: Building on the world health report 2000

Authors: D. Huang, B. Jones, J. Jacko, F. Sainfort

Dec 2005

133rd Annual American Public Health Association Meeting & Exposition

Abstract: Our research aims to develop an alternative assessment technique to promote more equitable comparisons of national health systems around the world. This research is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) World Health Report 2000, which ranked all national health systems simultaneously and suggested methods to improve their performance. Recognizing that these health systems are not all identical, we propose a technique that creates clusters of nations by stratifying them according to several factors that the literature confirms should have an effect on the efficiency of a national health system. Our methodology incorporates data collected from several WHO reports and publications, as well as the World Bank's educational statistics web site. The resulting clustering technique generates several clusters of peer nations based on factors including mortality levels, causes of healthy life loss, DALE (disability-adjusted life expectancy) measures, health care expenditures, and education levels. This leads to a more equitable comparison scheme by ranking nations within a cluster of peers rather than comparing all nations at once.

We believe that this clustering technique and its resulting rankings are a constructive way to build upon the work and contribute to the dialogue that has been started by WHO. Furthermore, these new rankings offer a more equitable grouping perspective, which we believe could offer health professionals and policy makers within each country helpful information that would facilitate improvement of their respective health systems. Possible extensions of this work and alternate methods for measuring efficiency are discussed and presented.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

  • Understand factors that affect the efficiency of national health systems.
  • Recognize differences in causes of healthy life loss among certain groups of nations.
  • Discuss relative rankings of national health systems and their potential implications.

Citation: Huang, D. T., Jones, W. B., Jacko, J., Sainfort, F. (2005). Comparing national health systems worldwide: Building on the world health report 2000. Poster at the American Public Health Association 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, 10-14 December 2005.

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