Measuring the Health of the Healthcare System: New Hampshire's Healthcare Dashboard 2007
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This paper introduces the findings of a new healthcare dashboard designed to assess different aspects of the performance of the healthcare system in New Hampshire. In collaboration with a workgroup of participants in the Citizen’s Health Initiative, the Center developed a set of indicators designed to assess and monitor key dimensions of the healthcare system in New Hampshire. The key dimensions measured in this healthcare dashboard are cost, the healthcare infrastructure, access to services, the quality of care and the public’s health.
As shown in Figure 1 below, the performance of the New Hampshire system relative to the top five states in the country varies significantly. In this figure, the value for New Hampshire is presented as a percentage of the best states in the country: the lower the percentage, the worse the performance relative to this benchmark. New Hampshire ranks very well on measures of healthcare quality and access. However, New Hampshire’s healthcare is expensive and the supply of healthcare services does not compare favorably with the best states. Moreover, the health and well being of the New Hampshire population is less than the best; a troublesome finding considering the Granite State’s high marks on healthcare quality and access and cost.
Rather than providing the final authoritative statement on the status of the health care system in New Hampshire, this Dashboard is meant to be a simple and evolving document which will foster conversations about what and how we should be tracking the health care system. The Dashboard is also designed to assist policy makers in defining appropriate goals in the context of legislative changes that are occurring. Reasonable people could and should identify different measures, different means of aggregating these data, and different benchmarks to reflect the needs of their measurement activities.