Health System Indicator Framework (HS_I)

Clear evidence is needed why specific health system indicators are important and which are the necessary – and suitable – core indicators for different types of policy-use, e.g. monitoring/forecasting, benchmarking, target-setting, cross-country comparison etc. The euHS_I survey takes stock of the indicator framework developed in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy that proposes a grouping of indicators according to an assessment of their information content. This survey adapts the framework to create levels of current and/or desired health and health system indicators mapped onto key health system performance domains. This approach enables highlighting indicators without failing necessary explanatory information for addressing e.g. target-setting. Grouping health and health system information is crucially important as it to avoids creating composite indicators which are often difficult to interpret.

Level of indicator framework

Source: euHS_I survey adopted from the EU SDI framework

Headline indicators

monitor the overall performance in defined domains related to the key objectives in public health and in health systems. They are widely used indicators with a high communicative and educational value. They are robust and available for most EU Member States, generally for a minimum period of five years.

Operational indicators

are related to the operational objectives of public health and health systems. They are lead indicators in their subthemes. They are robust and available for most EU Member States for a minimum period of three years.

Explanatory indicators

are related to issues that are useful for analyzing underlying drivers of health and health systems towards key health and health system objectives. Breakdowns of higher level indicators, e.g. by gender or income group, are usually also found at this level.

Contextual indicators

are part of the set, but either do not monitor directly a particular objective, or they are not amenable to policy action. Generally, they are difficult to interpret in a normative way. However, they provide valuable background information on issues that have direct relevance for policy development and are helpful to secure an understanding of the topic.