In 2010, Norway participated for the second time in the comparative international survey about health issues from the U.S Health Care Foundation Commonwealth Fund. A representative sample of the adult population (18 years or older) in eleven countries has assessed how well health care works.
This report presents the Norwegian results and compares them with results from other countries or groups of countries. This comparison reveals that there are very few areas where Norway particularly excels. In most areas the score is “medium”, while some areas the results are lower than average.
The Norwegian score is lower than average in these areas:
• Assessment of the general physician (including communication, patient involvement and whether the physician spends sufficient time in consultations)
• Amount of user experienced medical errors
• Assessment of hospitals at discharge; it applies to information about medicines, follow-up agreement with a physician (including health professionals, written information about what to do when you come home and symptoms to be aware of)
The Norwegian score is better than average in these areas:
• Proportion of population who report having a regular doctor
• Access to medical care outside normal working hours
The Norwegian score is only average in the other areas.
Relatively consistent results in some of the areas indicate that there is potential for improvement in Norway. Patient experience is an important part of the quality of healthcare. Establishing systems for measuring the user experience at various levels and monitoring of such results is recommended. Moreover, the patient experienced poorer patient safety in Norway than the average for all countries combined. A Norwegian patient safety campaign starting in January 2011 in Norway will be an important measure to meet some of the challenges revealed by this survey.