Headlines

Europe - Euro health consumer index 2017 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The 2017 edition of the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) has been released, assessing the performance of healthcare systems in 35 European countries. The EHCI analyzes national health care on 46 indicators, looking into areas such as patient rights and information, access to care, treatment outcomes, range and reach of services, and use of pharmaceuticals.

UK - Atlas of Social Innovation – New Practices for a Better Future This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Part of a European Union project, the Atlas of Social Innovation offers a comprehensive overview of this multifaceted concept and contains 62 articles compiled by 25 international partners. The Atlas offers new insights into various types of social innovation in different regions and policy areas, including health and social care.

UK - Alternatives to face-to-face GP consultations unlikely to deliver hoped-for benefits in practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This National Health Service (NHS) study finds that alternatives to face-to-face consultations with general practitioners (GPs), such as telephone, email, online and video consultations, may not lead to reductions in GP workload. The authors describe significant barriers and resistance to implementation among both GP practice staff and patients.

International - High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide, new data shows This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO has published new data from the Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS) that reveals the widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among half a million patients with bacterial infections across 22 countries. The most commonly reported resistant bacteria were Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Value-Based Procurement and Innovation: Opportunities for Improving Canada's Health Care
The Conference Board of Canada is holding this conference on April 18, 2018, in Toronto. It will explore the shift from procuring commodities to procuring for outcomes and solutions, and look at how processes need to change as a result. The Conference Board of Canada has led discussion of value-based procurement in a number of countries and Canadian cities and will bring this expertise together in Toronto to provide participants a sense of the opportunities available in this area.

UK - 2018 International Health Conference
This global health conference is hosted by the University of Oxford and takes place June 28 to 30, 2018. Researchers from a broad range of disciplines, from primary care to economics, will come together to explore ways of improving health services. It is an opportunity to develop research networks and encourage the uptake of evidence in health care and policy.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Reality Bites: How Canada’s Healthcare System Compares to its International Peers This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Canadian provincial healthcare systems fare poorly compared to peer countries according to new research from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Reality Bites: How Canada’s Healthcare System Compares to its International Peers,” authors Colin Busby, Ramya Muthukaran and Aaron Jacobs examine how the provinces, the major healthcare deliverers in Canada, fare compared to other nations in healthcare provision.

Canada - Qualitative analysis of the dynamics of policy design and implementation in hospital funding reform This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Like healthcare jurisdictions elsewhere, Canada’s provinces have begun shifting away from global hospital budgets. This evaluation focuses on Ontario’s implementation of quality-based procedures (QBPs), a funding approach involving a pre-set price per episode of care coupled with best practice clinical pathways. The evaluation concludes that implementation of QBPs has suffered from policy drift, and says the funding mechanism remains misunderstood in Ontario’s healthcare system.

Canada - Best Advice Guide: Social Determinants of Health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Many general practitioners (GPs) recognize it is difficult to treat health concerns without addressing underlying social conditions that can lead to poor health. This practical guide for family physicians provides concrete steps on how to consider and improve patients’ social determinants of health (SDoH). The guide provides suggested clinical, community, and population-level interventions.

UK - Against the Odds: Successfully scaling innovation in the NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Setting out what is known about the scale and spread of innovation in healthcare, this report describes common themes that have emerged from research and synthesizes insights from 10 case studies to provide a set of considerations for thinking about how to scale healthcare innovations in the future. The case studies are presented in full in an appendix to the report.

UK - Why we should be concerned about accountable care organisations in England’s NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and providers who are given incentives in the form of a share of savings to improve care and control costs. This article considers that the introduction of ACOs within England’s branch of the UK National Health Service (NHS) constitutes a privatization of public health care that blurs lines of accountability and may not be subject to parliamentary or judicial review.

UK - Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Commissioned by the National Health Service (NHS), this report examines areas where artificial intelligence (AI) could help the NHS become more efficient and deliver better outcomes for patients. It highlights the main barriers to the implementation of AI across NHS providers and services, and makes 15 recommendations for potential solutions. The report addresses public safety and ethical questions relating to AI.

UK - Reimagining community services: making the most of our assets This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This briefing note from The King's Fund provides an overview of the role of community services in Britain’s healthcare system, and provides recommendations for changes to keep pace with ongoing health reform. The authors recommend breaking down silos between services, reducing fragmentation in service delivery, and increasing the range of sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs).

International - What are the barriers and facilitators for third sector organisations (non-profits) to evaluate their services? A systematic review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
While non-profit organizations are becoming a more common provider of health services internationally, little is known about how they evaluate their own activities. This systematic review of 24 prior studies into this question determines that many healthcare non-profits struggle to evaluate their activities due to a lack of resources, poor technical capability, and challenges around the identification of evaluation systems and outcome indicators.

International - Association between organisational and workplace cultures, and patient outcomes: systematic review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This systematic review of 62 international studies of healthcare facilities (hospitals, general practices, pharmacies, and aged care and mental health institutions) found that positive organizational and workplace cultures were consistently associated with a wide range of beneficial patient outcomes, including reduced mortality rates, falls, and hospital acquired infections.

International - Learning from high risk industries may not be straightforward: a qualitative study of the hierarchy of risk controls approach in healthcare This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The hierarchy of risk control approaches (HRCA) is used in high-risk industries to rank the effectiveness of safety interventions. This study in four UK hospitals examined whether HRCA could be fruitfully applied to health care.