The U.S. healthcare system ranks last or next-to-last in five areasquality, access, efficiency, equity and healthy liveswhen compared with five other nations, and lags behind the other countries in using health information technology, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.
The results are from the third edition of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care, which also released analysis on these six health systems in 2006 and 2004.
In the area of quality, other countries are "further along than the U.S. in using information technology and a team approach to managed chronic conditions and coordinate care," the authors said in the report's executive summary. By contrast, information systems in countries such as Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom help physicians to manage chronic conditions and coordinate care. These systems also make it easier for physicians to identify and monitor patients with chronic conditions, the report said.