Canada - Canada Needs Federal Leadership to Accelerate Health Innovation and Improve System Performance This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On December 2, 2014, 39 national healthcare organizations that comprise the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) issued a consensus statement calling for the federal government to embrace the Canadian Way of addressing national health issues through compassion, consensus, and collaboration. The statement is intended to prompt federal parties to articulate their positions on health care in advance of elections in 2015.

Canada - Hospital deaths dropping in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released 2013-14 data showing that 57% of Canadian hospitals outside Québec have shown a decrease in hospital deaths over the last 5 years. The six leading causes of death in hospital are stroke, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sepsis and heart attack. The CIHI considers that public reporting on hospital deaths plays an important role in improving care.

Canada - A 10 Year Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Saskatchewan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Commissioned by Saskatchewan’s government, this panel report outlines a 10-year mental health and addictions action plan for the province’s health and social services ministries. It is the culmination of extensive public consultations. The plan lays out 62 goals for improving awareness, access, capacity, early intervention, person-centred care, recovery support, health inequities and First Nations and Métis partnerships.

The Netherlands - The Netherlands should do more to help workers with mental ill-health, says OECD This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Netherlands should increase support for workers suffering from mental health issues and their employers and tackle the continued social stigma and limited knowledge around such illnesses, according to a new OECD report. Mental Health and Work: The Netherlands says that one in three people on unemployment, social assistance or disability benefits experience psychological problems such as distress, depression or anxiety. The OECD estimates that mental health issues cost the Dutch economy nearly EUR 20 billion per year, equivalent to 3.3% of GDP, in lost productivity, health care and social spending.

UK - Using NICE’s approach to base policy decisions on evidence could help save billions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides the UK National Health Service (NHS) with recommendations on evidence and best practices, and is known for rigour and objectivity. The British government is now applying the NICE model to public policymaking to variously help school principals, police chiefs, and other civil servants save billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money by using evidence-based decision making.

USA - Historically Slow Growth in Health Spending Continued in 2013 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New data from the US Government confirms that 2013 was another year of historically slow growth in healthcare spending after three years of the slowest growth on record. Although the slow growth is often attributed to the underperforming US economy, the data shows it also reflects structural changes to the American health system, including the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Taming of the Queue 2015
The 2015 conference, taking place April 16 and 17, in Ottawa, will focus on strategies to improve timely access to appropriate care for complex care patients in an aging society. Organized by the Canadian Foundation for healthcare Improvement, the conference is invitational and contributes to enhancing knowledge of best practices.

UK - The Health Services Research Network (HSRN) Symposium 2015
The HSRN has set a January 16, 2015, deadline for the submission of individual abstracts, session proposals and Impact award nominations in anticipation of its symposium to be held in Nottingham on July 1 and 2, 2015. The symposium presents leading edge health services research in a multidisciplinary forum.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Comparative Review of the Policy Landscape of Team-based Primary Health Care Service Delivery in Western Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted for Alberta Health Services (AHS), this review gives a snapshot of the policy landscape of team-based primary healthcare in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The review finds that policies in all three provinces reflect poor planning in primary care, and notes that guidance, metrics, resources and appropriate pay scales are often not available for team-based models.

Europe - Health at a Glance: Europe 2014 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the OECD, this book presents indicators related to health status, access to care, quality of care, and health financing, expenditure and resources in 35 European countries. Key indicators reflect the new availability of comparable data in the areas of non-medical determinants of health and access to care.

Japan - Aging and the governance of the healthcare system in Japan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Japan is the world’s most rapidly aging country. This paper presents an overview of the effect of population aging on healthcare governance in Japan and compares the overall system, along with geriatric and long-term care, to health systems and structures in other OECD nations.

UK - A review of the evidence on the impact, effectiveness and value for money of performance-related pay in the public sector This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The British government authorized this review of the evidence on the impact, effectiveness, and value for money of performance-related pay (PRP) systems in the public sector. The report presents evidence on the impact of PRP on compensation, cost effectiveness and staff motivation.

UK - An inquiry into patient centred care in the 21st century: implications for general practice and primary care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) undertook this inquiry into patient-centred care to identify cost effective solutions to the medical, social and financial challenges of rising multimorbidity in Britain. Analyzing patient-centred care standards, outcomes, resources and budgeting, the report draws on hundreds of evidence submissions and extensive discussions with stakeholders.

International - Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2014. Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the OECD, this book presents indicators related to health status, access to care, quality of care and health financing, expenditure, and resources in 27 Asian and Pacific countries. Indicators are presented with charts, brief descriptive analyses and methodological context. An annex provides information on country health systems and local demography.

International - What shapes patient's satisfaction in countries' health care systems? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Patient satisfaction is an important measure of healthcare quality. This study by Greek researchers developed a set of socio-economic and health provision indicators to study patient satisfaction and healthcare organization in 32 countries over a five-year period. Findings showed a positive association between patient satisfaction, public health expenditures, and the number of physicians and nurses.

International - The challenge of budgeting for healthcare programmes This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article argues that health system fiscal sustainability is a political issue and dismisses talk of unaffordable spending due to trends like aging and technology as either inaccurate or unhelpful. The author says public support for health care means that a business budgeting approach may not be appropriate for health systems.

International - Exploring international acute care models This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This British report examines international acute service line models to gather information on potential care models for the UK National Health Service (NHS). Its insights include: the value of ‘risk tiers’ for maternity and pediatric services; the role of GPs in providing urgent care out-of-hours; and the importance of technology, especially for remote care delivery.

International - Measuring and comparing health care waiting times in OECD countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Waiting times for elective treatments are an international concern. This study describes common measures of wait times from 12 OECD countries. It focuses on procedures, such as hip replacements, where lengthy waits are the norm, and analyzes different country policies to reduce waiting times. Solutions include increased spending and the introduction of targets and incentives.