A Framework for Health System Comparisons: the Health Systems in Transition (HiT) Series of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

  • Bernd RechelEmail author
  • Suszy Lessof
  • Reinhard Busse
  • Martin McKee
  • Josep Figueras
  • Elias Mossialos
  • Ewout van Ginneken
Living reference work entry
Part of the Health Services Research book series (HEALTHSR)


Comparing health systems across countries allows policy-makers to make informed decisions on how to strengthen their systems. The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies produces a series of profiles that systematically describe health systems – the HiTs. These capture how a health system is organized, how funds flow through the system, and what care it provides. They follow a common template and are updated periodically. They allow policy-makers and academics to understand each system individually in light of its previous development and in the context of other European health systems. In effect, the HiTs provide a framework for comparison across countries. This chapter describes the Observatory’s experience in developing the framework. It explores the role of the HiT template, the processes put in place to support consistency and comparability, and the efforts to build in policy relevance. It highlights the lessons learned so far and what they might contribute to the development of other comparative frameworks.


Health System Knowledge Brokering Comparative Framework Author Team European Observatory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Rechel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Suszy Lessof
    • 4
  • Reinhard Busse
    • 2
  • Martin McKee
    • 5
  • Josep Figueras
    • 4
  • Elias Mossialos
    • 6
  • Ewout van Ginneken
    • 3
  1. 1.European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Department Health Care Management, Faculty of Economics and ManagementTechnische UniversitätBerlinGermany
  3. 3.European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Department of Health Care ManagementBerlin University of TechnologyBerlinGermany
  4. 4.European Observatory on Health Systems and PoliciesBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  6. 6.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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