Can big data improve healthcare quality regulation? An international comparative analysis


  • Dr Henry Rothstein

    King's College London

Project summary

Harnessing big data to improve healthcare quality has become something of a holy grail for regulators. While England’s Care Quality Commission is an acknowledged leader, its use of big data has not improved regulatory effectiveness and this raises wider questions about the usefulness of this approach.

This pilot project will explore how other countries’ healthcare regulators use big data drawing on comparisons with England’s experience to identify and help understand common problems and opportunities for improvement. I will combine desk-based research and qualitative interviews and workshops with regulators and other stakeholders to map the use of big data for healthcare quality regulation in all 31 high-income OECD countries. I will use case studies from four countries reflecting a range of data-usage patterns and payer-provider-regulator configurations and develop hypotheses about the factors shaping the use and effectiveness of big data.

This study will lay the groundwork for a larger follow-up study by securing access to data and collaboration agreements to test those hypotheses and assess the barriers to improving healthcare quality regulation with big data.