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OECD—delivering quality health services: a global imperative
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) together with WHO and the World Bank Group recently published a report calling for urgent action from governments, clinicians, patients, civil society and the private sector to help rapidly scale up quality healthcare services for universal health coverage.

With many countries around the world failing to provide the right care, at the right time that delivers clinical value to patients, is safe, and meets the needs and preferences of patients, the report addresses the necessity to step up the game to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Simply ensuring coexistence of infrastructure, medical supplies and healthcare providers will not be sufficient to tackle inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate and unnecessary treatment or the lack adequate training.

Five elements, namely healthcare works; healthcare facilities; medicines, devices and other technologies; information systems and finances, have been identified as crucial for a quality system. In addition, to a good foundation also a high level of intervention through standard setting, education and performance-based incentives will in accordance with the report add to the improvement of the quality of care. Innovative interventions have been developed in a number of regions. These experiences, however, need to be shared more widely, especially with low-income and middle-income countries.

The call to action of OECD, WHO and the World Bank addresses governments, health systems, patients and healthcare workers. Hospital pharmacists as part of the latter group should participate in quality measurement and improvement with their patients, embrace a practice philosophy of teamwork, regard patients as partners in the delivery of care and commit themselves to providing and using data to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the care. These contributions will however only be effective if all actors work together towards an integrated approach.

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  • Section 6: Education and Research

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.