The world is currently witnessing a dramatic disruption of everyday life owing to the rapid progression of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As the pandemic evolves, there is an urgent need to better understand its epidemiology, characterize its potential impact, and identify mitigatory strategies to avert pandemic-related mortality. There is a need for a tool or algorithm to evaluate the extent to which public health policy and/or economic preparedness measures are effectively averting COVID-19 related mortality. We present a simple and yet practical epidemiological tool, the Pandemic Efficiency Index (PEI), that can be utilized globally to test the relative efficiency of measures put in place to avert death resulting from COVID-19 infection. Using the PEI and current COVID-19-related mortality, we determined that so far Germany demonstrates the highest PEI (5.1) among countries with more than 5,000 recorded cases of the infection, indicating high quality measures instituted by the country to avert death during the pandemic. Italy and France currently have the lowest COVID-19-related PEIs. Epidemics and pandemics come and go, but local, national, and global abilities to determine the efficiency of their efforts in averting deaths is critical.