Assessing Health Care Around the World

by Karl Yaeger

On September 16, in Berlin, Germany, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) will present a study comparing regional variations of health care delivery systems across 13 countries. Instrumental to the study is David Goodman, MD, MS, Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute (TDI). Goodman is also the Co-PI of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, and the Director of the Wennberg International Collaborative , a research network that advances the study of unwarranted medical practice variation.

Goodman has served as an expert advisor to the OECD throughout the duration of the study, one of the largest and most robust of its kind.

"If you want to improve health care, you have to know where it works well, and where there are problems," Goodman says. "Many countries haven't measured health care except for the nation as a whole. And you can't improve a country's health care system without assessing its various regions and localities."

David Goodman, MD, MS, is a leader in the study of medical practice variation

This comparative approach is a hallmark of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and the Wennberg International Collaborative.

"These ideas from Dartmouth have helped change health care delivery across the U.S.," Goodman says, "and they are now being disseminated worldwide. What we've discovered is that there is a tremendous thirst for Dartmouth ideas in both developed and under developed countries."

Dr. Julie P.W. Bynum, an Associate Professor of Medicine at TDI and member of the Wennberg International Collaborative, will speak on behalf of Dartmouth at the conference in Berlin.