The EuroREACH project is an international collaboration to improve access to and use of healthcare data and to enhance cross-country comparisons of health system performance.
Over the last ten years there has been an increased investment in European and international initiatives to improve health data for cross-country research. The major impetus behind this movement has been to help national policy-makers assess the health status of their populations and to monitor how health care systems perform compared to other countries. However, major challenges remain due to compartmentalization of health data initiatives and a lack of comparability across countries.
The EuroREACH project aims to overcome these challenges by collaborating with and evaluating international and national health information systems and health data projects. EuroREACH ultimately aims to enhance the quality of comparative health systems analysis and performance measurement.
Digital Health Data Compendium
The findings from the EuroREACH project will feed into a digital compendium of health data initiatives and information systems. The compendium will serve as a toolbox to researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders. Ultimately it aims to improve the quality of comparative health systems analysis and performance measurement.
Access to the compendium will be through a Health Data Navigator. It will list national and international data bases relevant for performance assessment with a particular focus on patient-level and disease-oriented data. Each data source is assessed with regards to fixed set of criteria, namely
- ease of access to the data
- data coverage (variables, years etc.)
- data quality
- possibilities of linkage to other data bases
Moreover, the Health Data Navigator will offer guidance on pertinent issues in international health research including:
- Gaps in existing data to encourage data collection in under-represented areas
- Key health data challenges such as data protection, data linkage and comparability
The navigator is designed to be dynamic and encourage cross-country exchange of best practices without providing a comprehensive inventory of databases. In order to ensure sustainability of the webtool, it is intended to link the Health Data Navigator, e.g. to the European Commission’s HEIDI data tool, which produces and hosts “real” data with a corresponding information system.