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

Jeffrey Braithwaite*, Russell Mannion, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Paul Shekelle, Stuart Whittaker, Samir Al-Adawi, Kristiana Ludlow, Wendy James, Hsuen P. Ting, Jessica Herkes, Louise A. Ellis, Kate Churruca, Wendy Nicklin, Clifford Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


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).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzx122
Pages (from-to)880-886
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Appropriate healthcare
  • Healthcare system
  • International health reform
  • Patient safety
  • Patient-centred care
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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