Australia - Public hospital admissions rising faster than private hospital admissions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report from Australia’s Institute of Health and Welfare shows that of 11 million admissions to Australian hospitals in 2017, 6.6 million were to public hospitals and 4.4 million to private hospitals. Admissions rose 4.3% in public hospitals versus 3.6% in private.

Europe - New report reveals need for more humane, personalized approach in European Region’s long-term institutions for adults with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO released an assessment of quality of care for adults with intellectual/psychosocial disabilities in 75 institutions across 25 European countries. Only 25% of quality scores met international standards, meaning that long-term institutional care in Europe has significant room for improvement.

France – Agnès Buzyn presents a roadmap to meet the short- and medium-term challenges of an aging population This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In France, the number of people over 85 will increase from 1.5 million today to 4.8 million in 2050. The Minister of Solidarity and Health has announced a strategy to prevent loss of autonomy; it includes reformulating home care funding, rolling out a comprehensive caregiver support plan and meeting the growing need for medical care. As well, the plan includes funding for 1000 additional temporary beds for people leaving hospital.

New Zealand - Major review of health system launched This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New Zealand’s government has announced a wide-ranging review of the country’s healthcare and disability services that will look for ways to improve, modernize, and personalize the system as it moves forward. The review will include a strong focus on primary and community based care, and issue a final report in January 2020. 

International - Commission calls for urgent action against chronic diseases This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report from the WHO Independent High-level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) demands high-level political commitment and the immediate scaling up of actions to address the global epidemic of NCDs. Cancer, diabetes, lung and heart diseases now kill 41 million people around the world annually.

International - WHO launches Global Action Plan on Physical Activity This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Worldwide, one in five adults remain physically inactive. The WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity shows how countries can reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030. It recommends a set of 20 policy areas to create more active societies by improving recreational environments and opportunities for exercise.

Upcoming Events

Canada - From Research to Practice: Improving Usability, Safety and Patient Outcomes with Health Information Technology
The University of Victoria is hosting this conference from February 14 to 17, 2019. The conference will take a multi-perspective view about what is needed to move technology along to real sustained and widespread use. It will explore the research, system design, policy, regulation and organizational changes involved in implementing these technologies. The call for papers is now open, with a deadline of September 15, 2018.

Switzerland - Better Health Faster: Social Science for Public Health
This conference will explore the contribution of social sciences to promoting health-enhancing policies. It will look at the latest findings on determinants of health and examine the policy processes around health promotion. Successful concrete actions undertaken at the cantonal and national level in Switzerland will be presented. The conference takes place in Neuchâtel on November 7 and 8, 2018.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Investing to Save: The economic benefits for Australia of investment in mental health reform This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s Health Ministry outlines ‘win-win’ recommendations for investment in mental health that deliver economic returns to government and the economy while also achieving positive health and social outcomes for people experiencing mental health problems. It recommends workforce and employment support for individuals with mental health issues and calls for significant investments in prevention, early intervention, and mental health promotion.

Canada - Change in health care use after coordinated care planning: a quasi-experimental study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted in southern Ontario’s Hamilton-Niagara region, this study investigated whether 600 patients with a coordinated care plan differed in their use of health care (number of ER visits, inpatient admissions, and length of hospital stays) compared with a control group of patients with no care plans. Results showed care plan beneficiaries had fewer ER visits but found no significant difference in admissions to, or length of stay in hospital.

Canada - Key Health Inequalities in Canada. A National Portrait This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the Public Health Agency of Canada, this report describes key health inequalities in Canada with data on 70 indicators of health outcomes, risk factors, and the social determinants of health. Overall, significant health inequalities were observed among Indigenous peoples, racial and sexual minorities, immigrants and people with functional limitations. The report is accompanied by an online interactive database, the Health Inequalities Data Tool.

Sweden - Exploring the potential of a multi-level approach to improve capability for continuous organizational improvement and learning in a Swedish healthcare region This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Strategies for continuous organizational improvement and learning are needed in Sweden’s municipally run healthcare regions. This study applied a sustainable improvement/development strategic systematic approach (SIDSSA) for continuous improvement in two municipal systems that included a multilevel strategy, development modules, and an action-learning loop. Participants reported acquiring new insights and skills, and the participating municipalities subsequently adopted SIDSSA for their regional health systems. 

Sweden - Understanding the dynamics of sustainable change: A 20-year case study of integrated health and social care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Achieving sustainability can be difficult in integrated healthcare. This Swedish study gained insight into sustainable changes in health and social care through a 20-year analysis (1995-2005) of local health system actions triggered by the institution of a national psychiatric policy. The study found that inter-organizational cooperation at service level was key to ongoing quality improvement and learning based on the needs of the service user.

UK - Influences on the adoption of patient safety innovation in primary care: a qualitative exploration of staff perspectives This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study conducted at 46 British healthcare sites describes the reactions of primary care staff to a new Patient Safety Toolkit comprised of six tools: a system of rapid note review, a staff survey, a patient safety questionnaire, prescribing safety indicators, a medicines reconciliation tool, and a safe systems checklist. Study participants favoured tools that provided relevant information with a minimal impact on resources.

UK - Making the money work in the health and care system This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by Britain’s Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), this report argues that the UK’s current complex system of healthcare funding does not support the government’s proposed new model of more integrated care and therefore needs to change. The report recommends changes to funding flows to align them with emerging place-based architecture, and ensure that services receive increased, longer-term funding. 

UK - Innovative models of general practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Dealing with increasing and ever more complex workloads, general practices in the UK now face significant challenges. This report by a private think-tank says new general practice clinical delivery models are needed to meet the demands of Britain’s aging population and changing disease burden. It highlights team-based working, digital innovations, community-centred approaches and collaborative care. A large number of case studies are included.