Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Qual Health Care. 2017 Oct 1;29(6):880-886. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzx122.

Accomplishing reform: successful case studies drawn from the health systems of 60 countries.

Author information

Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Level 6, 75 Talavera Road, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.
Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England.
The Canon Institute for Global Studies, 11th Floor, ShinMarunouchi Building, 5-1 Marunouchi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6511, Japan.
Division of General Internal Medicine, West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.
Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, 911 Broxton Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
School of Public Health and Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925, South Africa.
School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.
College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Al Khoudh, Muscat 123, Oman.
International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), 4th Floor, Huguenot House, 35-38 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, D02 NY63, Ireland.
Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Level 6, 75 Talavera Road, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, A ustralia.


Healthcare reform typically involves orchestrating a policy change, mediated through some form of operational, systems, financial, process or practice intervention. The aim is to improve the ways in which care is delivered to patients. In our book 'Health Systems Improvement Across the Globe: Success Stories from 60 Countries', we gathered case-study accomplishments from 60 countries. A unique feature of the collection is the diversity of included countries, from the wealthiest and most politically stable such as Japan, Qatar and Canada, to some of the poorest, most densely populated or politically challenged, including Afghanistan, Guinea and Nigeria. Despite constraints faced by health reformers everywhere, every country was able to share a story of accomplishment-defining how their case example was managed, what services were affected and ultimately how patients, staff, or the system overall, benefited. The reform themes ranged from those relating to policy, care coverage and governance; to quality, standards, accreditation and regulation; to the organization of care; to safety, workforce and resources; to technology and IT; through to practical ways in which stakeholders forged collaborations and partnerships to achieve mutual aims. Common factors linked to success included the 'acorn-to-oak tree' principle (a small scale initiative can lead to system-wide reforms); the 'data-to-information-to-intelligence' principle (the role of IT and data are becoming more critical for delivering efficient and appropriate care, but must be converted into useful intelligence); the 'many-hands' principle (concerted action between stakeholders is key); and the 'patient-as-the-pre-eminent-player' principle (placing patients at the centre of reform designs is critical for success).


appropriate healthcare; healthcare system; international health reform; patient safety; patient-centred care; quality improvement

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center