Using quality registries to improve quality and cost efficiency in health and medical care was the theme of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs conference on 21-22 May. There conference, titled “Fine-Tuning Health Care – improved outcomes and cost efficiency using quality registries,” gathered some 150 participants from around 20 countries in Stockholm to discuss the benefits of quality registries from various perspectives. Among the participants were politicians, decision-makers at different levels of society, health and medical professionals and patient representatives.
Many health care systems are struggling today with rising costs, creating an urgent need to find new ways and systems to improve the quality of health care while also improving cost-efficiency. A variety of strategies are being implemented in different health care systems around the world. An approach offering great potential is the use of quality registries. By using these registries, health care professionals can identify, implement and share best practices. The quality registries also offer a great example of how patients can participate in a meaningful way in their own care. Effective use of quality registries can lead to better health outcomes and enhanced health care value.
What is a Quality Registry?
Quality registries have in common that they collect comprehensive, high-quality data and follow outcomes of patients in a population with the same diagnosis or patients who have undergone the same medical procedure. Quality registries are also referred to as disease registries and patient registries.
What is the purpose of Quality Registries?
Data from the quality registries enables clinicians in and across health care systems to identify, implement and share best practices for a given diagnosis or medical procedure. This allows for systematic quality improvement, leading to better health outcomes at a lower cost. Furthermore, quality registries allow for unique real-life outcome research.
Quality Registries in Sweden
A system of about 100 national quality registries has been established in the Swedish health and medical system in recent decades, with some dating back to the 1970s. They provide Swedish health care with a unique opportunity to monitor the results and quality of health care services. Originally a resource reserved for a small group in the medical professions, the registries have now become one of the foremost tools for improvement efforts and quality follow-up within Swedish health care.
In 2006, transparent regional comparisons of health care quality and efficiency – public performance reports, also known as open comparisons – were also introduced. The aim was to ensure transparency for taxpayers and patients, to promote quality improvement and cost efficiency, and to share best practice.
Initiatives to develop the registries
Since 1990, the Swedish Government and the county councils have allocated special funding to quality registries. In 2011, the Swedish Government decided together with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) to increase the funding to the quality registries substantially with the aim of increasing the quality of data as well as the percentage of patients participating. This is to create a system in which quality registries are the core in terms of measuring health outcomes, conducting research and improving the quality of care.
Source: www.government.se/qualityregistries Link to webcast from the conference