Headlines

Canada - Canadians have more than 1 million potentially unnecessary medical tests and treatments every year This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Choosing Wisely Canada has found that up to 30% of selected medical tests, treatments and procedures in Canada are potentially unnecessary. The report measured the extent of unnecessary care associated with eight tests and procedures, including head scans in ERs for minor head injuries, use of benzodiazepines to treat insomnia or agitation in the elderly, and preoperative tests for low-risk surgeries.

Canada - Pharmacist care for patients with hypertension would save Canada's health care system more than $15.7 billion This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A study published in the May/June issue of the Canadian Pharmacists Journal shows that long-term pharmacist care for Canadians with hypertension, including patient education and prescribing, improves health outcomes and reduces costs in the health system. Projected cost savings would be more than $15.7 billion if pharmacists provided care to their full scope of practice.

Canada - New funding to help create team-based primary care services throughout B.C. This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The provincial government of British Columbia has announced $90 million in new funding over three years to bring integrated team-based primary care services to more communities. Operating within doctors' offices, new positions for nurses and nurse practitioners will allow physicians to care for more patients, as well as provide better supports. Other health professionals in the community will also be better connected with doctors' offices.

UK - Scotland Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Scotland has set out a new 10-year mental health strategy based around 40 actions to improve and refocus service delivery. The strategy calls for substantially increasing the mental health workforce and improving support for preventative and counselling services.

International - WHO launches global effort to halve medication-related errors in 5 years This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO has launched an initiative to reduce medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next five years. The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety lays out ways to improve how medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed. The global cost of medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion US annually.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Enterprise Risk Management in Health Care Settings
This conference takes place in Toronto, on September 14 and 15, 2017. It is designed for healthcare professionals in hospital, long-term care and community settings, along with government and other decision-making organizations. Speakers include risk management specialists from the health care and corporate sectors.

Italy - 1st WHO Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health
The WHO European Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration is offering this intensive course from July 10 to 14, 2017, in Syracuse, Italy. The course seeks to improve participants’ understanding of the main health issues and needs of refugees and migrants, and of the broader public health implications of large-scale migration in origin, transit and destination countries. International experts will provide modules on demographics and risk factors; interventions; economics; and public health policy. Registration opens on May 1.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Europe - How can voluntary cross-border collaboration in public procurement improve access to health technologies in Europe? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by the WHO, this policy brief examines the legal framework put in place by the European Union (EU) to foster voluntary cross-border collaboration in the field of public procurement of health technologies, it looks at recent experiences and developments in cross-border collaboration across Europe and explores the challenges and opportunities these present.

Europe - How can structured cooperation between countries address health workforce challenges related to highly specialized health care? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This policy paper by the WHO draws on the experience of different cross-border collaborations in specialized health care to address health workforce challenges in European countries. It identifies factors that enable or block structured cooperation, describes the institutional framework in place, and examines policy implications for the European Union (EU).

France - The evolution of hospital funding models. A new measure of value This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report, prepared at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, proposes an evolution of the financing models used in healthcare institutions in order to respond to the criticisms of a P4P model that unduly prioritizes the financial dimension over the fundamental mission of healthcare facilities, which is the delivery of high-quality care. The redesign of P4P would aim to make this funding correspond more closely to the activities of health professionals, be better adapted to the care of patients with chronic diseases, and less centered on existing structures.

USA - State Policy Capacity and Leadership for Health Reform This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The aim of the study was to understand how policy capacity was defined and managed by state health leaders in different political environments during the implementation of the ACA. The authors of the study have developed a capacity checklist for policymakers to use as they embark on new health reform initiatives.

UK - Does The Primary Care Home Make A Difference? Understanding its impact This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The primary care home (PCH) model was developed by Britain’s National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) to strengthen primary care in the National Health Service (NHS). This report summarizes progress in three of 15 PCH rapid test sites and finds that PCH could support the delivery of NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) across the UK. The report highlights improved staff retention, productivity, and satisfaction.

USA - US experience with Accountable Care Organizations: lessons for France? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article, published in the April issue of Questions d'économie de la Santé, examines the rapid spread of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the United States following the adoption of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. ACOs strengthen primary care and promote coordination between primary care and hospital. More than 800 ACOs are now registered and cover 15% of US policyholders. Presenting a review of the literature, the article describes the characteristics of ACOs, their performance, and the tools and approaches they mobilize.

UK - Remote health management: reducing bed blocking in the NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The NHS’s capacity is stretched. This pressure is partly due to the rise in frail and ageing patients who cannot be discharged from acute hospitals. These delayed transfers, known as ‘bed blocking,’ cost the NHS £820m in 2015 ($1.35 billion Cdn). This paper describes how remote health management (RHM) systems, such as telehealth and telecare, can ease the pressures of bed blocking and support the care of patients in settings other than hospitals.

UK - Integration 2020: scoping research This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), this study examines the British government’s recent decision to integrate health and social services. It presents findings from a scoping research program to better understand what integrated health and social care should look like in 2020 and provides feedback and support for the further development of a national standard for integration.

International - Understanding Variations in Hospital Length of Stay and Cost: Results of a Pilot Project This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the OECD, this comparative study of France, Ireland, Israel and Canada measures hospital length of stay and cost for a given condition to explore variations in efficiency. It shows that variations are more likely to exist at hospital level for cardiac surgery, and at the country level for hysterectomies and caesarean sections.