EHCI News, March 2012

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Health Consumer Powerhouse


Countdown for EHCI 2012


Dear reader,
Soon we’ll have the pleasure of presenting the 2012 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). This newsletter will provide monthly snapshots of the Index production. The third “Countdown” edition contains the following pieces: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I want the next newsletter!

  1. Commissioner Dalli on EHCI
  2. May 15 is I-Day
  3. Slow progress on e-Health
  4. Short intro to EHCI 2012
  5. I want the next newsletter!
Best Regards
Johan Hjertqvist, Founder & President

1. Commissioner Dalli on EHCI

March 27 HCP met with EU health commissioner John Dalli to provide a brief on the upcoming EHCI. We discussed with the commissioner and his cabinet how to develop and use the only recurring measurement of European healthcare.

2. May 15 is I-Day

May 15, 2012 will be the Index Day. The 2012 EHCI, ranking the healthcare performance of 34 European nations, will be presented May 15 10.00 hrs in the European Parliament, Brussels.

We hope to see you at the seminar! Register by sending us the full name, birth date, address, organization and e-mail address of the participant to:

Please let us know if you already have an EP pass. We will confirm with meeting details.

3. EHCI: Slow progress on e-Health

In the last newsletter we looked into potential impact on European healthcare from the financial crises. So far there are few signals in the EHCI system with regard to negative effects (which of course says little about what might show up in the near future). One possible indication on financial crisis impact might be that there seems to be an increase in waiting times for (expensive) elective surgical procedures, most noticeable in countries which were severely hit by the crisis.

A field which in many healthcare systems has had large investments – with uncertain outcomes – is e-Health. The EHCI 2012 will be looking into indicators such as the penetration of EPR (Electronic Patient Records) in primary care (statistics from hospitals are still very uncertain), e-Prescriptions and solutions allowing patients to book their appointments on the Internet. The implementation of such solutions can indicate how efficient the delivery of healthcare is and to what extent patients are involved in raising the process value.

After 20 years of efforts, the practical use of EPR:s is still fragmented around Europe. It looks as if a little more than one third of the 34 national systems will gain a green score on EPR:s (i.e. at least 90 percent penetration among primary care doctors). Around half a dozen countries offer patients the facilities to book appointments on the Internet, a time- and staff-saving resource. E-prescriptions, which speed up the distribution process and make the life of patients easier, show roughly the same low level of impact, as shown to commissioner Dalli in the preview the other day.

Compared to other service sectors, such as banking or flight travels, the Internet impact in healthcare is still limited in most parts of Europe, which harms productivity, efficiency, service orientation and consumer involvement.

4. Short Intro to EHCI 2012

The Euro Health Consumer Index is the single pan-European measurement of how well national healthcare systems meet patient/consumer expectations with regard to user information, equal and timely access and treatment outcomes. The initial Index was put together 2005 and has since then expanded, today covering every EU member state and accession nations as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Albania and FYHR Macedonia, in all 33 countries. This year’s update will bring Serbia into the system as the 34th country.

EHCI builds the ranking on ~40 indicators in five sub-disciplines: Patient rights and information, Waiting times, Outcomes, Range and reach of services and Pharmaceuticals. The selection of indicators is decided in co-operation with the External Reference Panel, a group of senior healthcare experts to advise on the Index composition. The Index outcomes are presented in a user-friendly way, with traffic-light colors to tell if a country performs quite well, medium or poor.

The sub-divisions are given a weight indicating how HCP looks at their respective importance, providing Outcomes and Waiting times with the highest weight. Depending on how well a national healthcare system responds to the indicator criteria a total maximum of 1 000 points can be rewarded. The last winner (2009) – the Netherlands – scored 863 points while the weakest competitor, Bulgaria, scored 448 points.

EHCI not only provides a status assessment for each of the 34 countries but as well gradually make longitudinal analysis possible, as performance data have been generated since 2005. To patients and care consumers EHCI is an opportunity for lay-persons to inform themselves, to compare and to take action to achieve the best possible healthcare. To healthcare industry stakeholders this unique benchmark has an awareness and opinion forming potential. Altogether, better performance transparency and common ways to foster accountability drives healthcare quality – a win-win situation for Europe!

The EHCI methodology is explained on our website

5. I want the next newsletter!

Do you want the next EHCI 2012 newsletters in your mailbox? If so, just send us a request to and we will add you to the subscription list for free. The next letter will arrive March 29.

If you want to avoid receiving the newsletter, you can use the same address to disengage from the newsletter list.

This newsletter is produced by the Health Consumer Powerhouse Ltd. Head office: Vendevagen 90, SE-182 32 Danderyd, Sweden. Office phone: +46 8 642 71 40. Website: