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The Atlas goes global

A German website documenting variations in the delivery of health care shows that flu vaccination rates are higher in the parts of the city that were part of East Germany than West Germany. The yellow line shows where the Berlin Wall once stood.

In September 2011, health-care researchers from around the world gathered in London at a meeting of the Wennberg International Collaborative to talk about research on variations in the delivery of health care. The conference was a reflection of how far medical practice variations research has come since John Wennberg, M.D., began investigating the delivery of care in Vermont in the late 1960s—and of the importance of this research to understanding and improving health care.

The work of the Dartmouth Atlas Project has become well-known both in the U.S. and internationally, but the September conference provided a chance for researchers to present on similar work conducted in many other countries as well. For example, research in Japan has explored the relationship between health care spending and patient outcomes. In Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom, researchers have put together atlases of health care based on publications by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. And in Spain, an ongoing project has the potential to mine data from a number of countries to explore how variations differ across national borders and what that means for improving the delivery of care.

To find out more about the Wennberg International Collaborative and the research presented at the 2011 conference, click on the links below. Or read a story on the conference from the Winter 2011 issue of Dartmouth Medicine.

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