Quality indicators of Israel’s health system show improvements

Science and Health

The Health Ministry’s annual national program for quality indicators takes the pulse of the country’s health system, with its main goals the promotion of quality care in key and selected areas and presenting the results to the public. 

The new indices this year include polyp detection index in colonoscopy performed in general hospitals; pain assessment for patients in intensive care units; and the carbon dioxide test in the exhaled air of ventilated patients. 

The ministry’s report covers the quality indicators report for 2022. It was published for the 10th annual conference on the quality and safety of care in the health care system.

The program encompasses extensive areas at the core of the health system and includes indicators in the areas of infant clinics, general hospitals, geriatric, rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, as well as dialysis centers, and ambulance companies for a total of over 120 different service providers. In addition, work is being done to add the field of patient safety to the national plan for quality measures. 

The national program for quality indicators began about a decade ago, with five quality indicators in the general hospitals, when already in its first years a significant improvement in the quality of care was seen.

Shaare Zedek hospital. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Improving national healthcare

Starting next year, they will be published only at the national level: performing urgent catheterization for a patient with a heart attack (general hospitals) and performing a pain assessment among hospitalized patients in the first 12 hours of reaching a geriatric or rehabilitation hospital. 

The ministry said the culture of quality measurement and improvement of quality following the measurement is evident across the wide range of the therapeutic continuum in the life cycles and fields of action of the health system.

“At the same time, the program is dynamic and changing, with some indicators that were implemented being published at the national level only, and new measures coming under them in cooperation with the relevant trade unions and national councils.” In addition, this year the Health Dashboard – World of Data” was updated and new fields were added.

The program works in full cooperation with the national medical councils, the scientific associations of the Israel Medical Association the OECD in the selection of the indicators, the determination of the methodology and the analysis of the findings.

Health Minister Moshe Arbel commented that “This year, we took significant steps to improve the quality of health. The actual activity is also being done in the area of patient safety by conducting surveys and tests that investigate burning issues in depth. We will continue to focus on the policy of placing the patient at the center and will also bring the voices of the patients as part of the update of the program’s indicators when new indicators will be added.”

Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov added that the pursuit of excellence in quality and safety in the field of health is an ongoing journey, the success of which requires continued cooperation, commitment, innovation, and a commitment to learn from the shared experience of the participating institutions and the national program.

By giving weight to patients’ voices, it will be possible to learn about the impact of interventions and treatments on treatment outcomes and the patient’s well-being from their point of view. 

Among the general hospitals that received the highest rating (10 or 9.9) were: Emek in Afula, Hadassah University Medical Centers in Ein Kerem and Mt. Scopus, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Assuta Public Hospital in Ashdod, Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson and Hasharon Campuses in Petah Tikva, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Hillel Yaffe in Hader, Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and Ziv Medical Center in Safed. 

Herzog Medical Center in Jerusalem, the Netanya Geriatric Hospital, and the Beit Rivka in Petah Tikva received the highest ratings (10) among geriatric hospitals. The Beersheba Mental Health Center was the highest rated (10) among psychiatric institutions.