Headlines

Australia - Second Atlas highlights opportunities for healthcare improvement This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care shows large variations in the provision of common health treatments across Australia. It examines variations in care for hysterectomy, cataract surgery, knee replacement and potentially preventable hospitalizations.

Canada - New Brunswick: New model for family medicine aims to improve physician access This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New Brunswick's government and Medical Society have established a new team-based model for family medicine that will provide patients enhanced access to family physicians. Participating doctors will have individual patient rosters but will also be available to patients of team members. The new model will begin operating in the fall of 2017.

UK - Meridian Health Innovation Exchange This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Meridian web platform is a pioneering health innovation exchange that allows academics, professionals, and managers to share ideas and innovations that might improve healthcare in England's West Midlands region. Participants can comment, supply feedback, suggest improvements and vote for the adoption of featured innovations by the regional health authority.

International - WHO updates Essential Medicines List with new advice on use of antibiotics, and adds medicines for hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis and cancer This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO has updated its Essential Medicines List to include a total of 433 medicines, adding 55 medicines and describing new uses for nine products. Along with new medicines for hepatitis C, HIV, TB and cancer, the list now groups antibiotics into three categories (Access, Watch and Reserve) with recommendations on usage.

Upcoming Events

France - The challenge of adapting our organizations to the health challenges of tomorrow
Significant changes are affecting health services, ranging from new inter-institutional cooperation to the expanded use of digital technology. This summer school, which will be held in Rennes on September 8 and 9, 2017, is a unique opportunity for exchange between professionals, users and citizens affected by organizational change on a daily basis.

USA - Revolutions in the Economics of Health Systems
The International Health Economics Association is holding its main event of the year in Boston, from July 8 to 11, 2017. Plenary talks will look at the usefulness of competition and choice in heavily regulated markets, and at democracy and health. Six sessions will then include speakers who are prominent in emerging and innovative areas of health economics research, such as value-based purchasing and imperfect competition.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Reforms to Human Services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This government report on ways to improve the effectiveness of human services (health care, social housing and family and community services) recommends the introduction of greater client choice and competition. It identifies six service areas for reform: end-of-life care, social housing, family/community services, public hospitals, services in remote Indigenous communities, and public dental services. The report seeks feedback from stakeholders.

Canada - Better Healthcare for Albertans This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by Alberta's Auditor General, this analysis of Alberta Health Service (AHS) primary care networks and chronic disease management notes barriers to better care resulting from: the health system's fragmented structure, the poor integration of physician services, inadequate sharing and use of clinical information. The analysis calls for further service integration and provides examples of integrated care from Canada's other provinces.

Canada - A Better Prescription: Advice for a National Strategy on Pharmaceutical Policy in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Building on published research and international frameworks, this article proposes that the pharmaceutical policies of federal, provincial, and territorial governments be coordinated around a core health-focused goal. It strongly suggests policy action on four core objectives: universal access to necessary medicines; appropriate prescribing and use of medicines; value for money spent on medicines; and patient safety.

Europe - Building resilience: a key pillar of Health 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals – Examples from the WHO Small Countries Initiative This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Strengthening resilience is central to Health 2020, the WHO European policy framework for health and well-being. This publication explains the concept of resilience and its implications for health at three levels (individual, community and system/society). It presents knowledge gained from three countries participating in the WHO Small Countries Initiative (Iceland, Malta and San Marino).

UK - Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), England's independent regulator of health and social care, these case studies of eight autonomous regional National Health Service (NHS) Trust organizations use quarterly inspection reports to examine drivers of service and care. The case studies take into account leadership capacity, culture, strategy, governance, staff and patient engagement, and the drive for continuous improvement.

UK - Improving Outcomes through Transformational Health and Social Care Integration – The Scottish Experience This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Scotland's Parliament recently passed legislation to integrate aspects of health and social care in order to improve care quality and outcomes for people with multiple complex needs. Developing a national framework to accelerate progress in care integration, the legislation also provides for tailored local supports and services delivered in partnership with area housing, community, and voluntary sectors.

USA - Leading a Culture of Safety: A Blueprint for Success This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This guide was developed to provide healthcare leaders a tool for assessing and advancing their organization’s culture of safety. It can be used to help determine the current state of an organization’s journey; inform dialogue with the boards and leadership teams; and help leaders set priorities. The guide contains both high-level strategies and practical tactics.

Singapore - Financing Long-Term Services and Supports: Ideas From Singapore This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In Singapore, long-term services and supports are financed through public and private sources comprising means-tested subsidies and grants to care providers, voluntary long-term care insurance and private resources. This study recommends maximizing total contributions to voluntary long-term care insurance by striking a balance between coverage adequacy and take-up rate while targeting subsidies to low-income individuals.

Sweden - Health Care in Sweden: Decentralized, Autonomous, Competitive, and Universal This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Québec's government intends to further centralize the provincial healthcare system in order to give the health ministry and minister more power over hospital management and administrators. This comparative paper argues that the province's government would be better off following the example set by Sweden's decentralization of healthcare, a model the authors say also benefits from private sector involvement.

International - Public Health Performance Strengthening at Districts. Rationale and Blueprint for Action This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the WHO, this paper documents the proceedings of a 2016 conference in Bellagio, Italy that convened an international group of 19 experts to discuss public health performance strengthening at district levels. Participants concluded that improving district public health practice is now a feasible priority for middle-income countries given the broad range of successful strategies tested in different international contexts.