The project seeks to develop an agreed definition of avoidable mortality for Europe, and to derive a set of validated avoidable mortality-based indicators of the effectiveness of health systems, which can be used in routine surveillance of the performance of health systems in Europe.
The project is based on the concept that deaths from certain causes should not occur in the presence of timely and effective health care. There is a need for renewed research efforts in the area of avoidable mortality in several respects, to update the older work both with regard to selection of causes of death, as well as with regard to countries included in the analysis.
The project will undertake a systematic review of the literature to assess the extent to which different causes of death can now be considered to be avoidable by preventive and curative health care interventions. It will verify whether the introduction of innovations indeed coincided with measurable declines in mortality in seven European countries, using in-depth information on the introduction of each innovation in these countries, and taking into account possible data artefacts caused by successive revisions of ICD codes. The findings will be used in a consensus conference with experts from across Europe, during which an agreed set of avoidable mortality-based indicators will be develop. Finally, the project will illustrate the use of these indicators by preparing an electronic analysis of variations in avoidable mortality between 25-30 European countries in the period 2001-2005.
The main outcome of the project will be an improved monitoring of the health care system performance in European countries using a validated set of avoidable mortality-based indicators. In addition, the project will provide a new electronic atlas of avoidable mortality in 25-30 European counties in 2001-2005, which can be used as a baseline for further monitoring activities.