Canada - CIHI releases top 10 reasons for hospitalization and surgery This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released its annual report, "Inpatient Hospitalizations, Surgeries and Childbirth Indicators," detailing national figures and provincial variations. Giving birth, respiratory disease and pneumonia were among the top 10 reasons for hospitalization in all provinces. Cesarean section was the most common surgical hospitalisation. Two of the 10 most common reasons for hospitalization in acute care facilities across the country were mental health issues.

Norway - Health expenditures grow with the population This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Preliminary estimates show that Norway’s total 2014 health expenditures have risen by 1.3% since 2013, an increase that is in line with population growth. As a result, Norway’s 2014 health expenditures per capita ($8,712 Cdn) are nearly unchanged from 2013.

UK - 5 million patients to benefit from new era of patient care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) has chosen 29 ‘vanguard regions’ to take the lead on transforming care for patients in towns and counties across Britain. Drawing on a £200 million transformation fund, the vanguard sites will locally integrate inpatient care, primary care, community nursing and home care. Over 5 million patients will benefit.

UK - Most home care visits should be at least half an hour This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are recommending that home care visits to seniors last a minimum half an hour and provide personalized care rather than follow a generic service model. The guidelines stress the importance of prioritizing continuity of care so that homecare workers become familiar to clients.

USA - New Physician Workforce Projections Show the Doctor Shortage Remains Significant This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to a new study by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the US will face a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians by 2025. The study, which takes into account demographics and recent changes to care delivery and payment methods, projects shortages in both primary and specialty care, with particularly acute specialty shortages.

International - Better dementia care and a future cure require action today, says OECD This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Nearly 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide, costing societies over half a trillion US dollars each year. This OECD report considers the current policy approach to tackling dementia socially and economically unsustainable, and calls on countries to take action now to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers, prioritise public research on dementia, and improve the incentives for private investment in dementia innovation. Incentives for collaboration may help.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Better Health for Rural Canadian: From Evidence to Practice
The Canadian Rural Health Research Society is holding its annual conference in Edmonton from September 20 to 22, 2015. This conference will provide a forum for researchers, decision makers, practitioners and other stakeholders interested in the health and wellbeing of rural Canadians.

Norway - Global Efforts in Knowledge Transfer: HTA to Health Policy and Practice
This year's Health Technology Assessment International meeting is organized by the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services in collaboration with HTA agencies from Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It takes place from June 15 to 17, 2015, in Oslo. The conference will focus on the dissemination of HTA reports and the implementation of decisions informed by HTA.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Analysis of a centralized registry to improve access to family doctors This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This project report published by CIRANO analyses results of Quebec's GACOs (guichets d’accès pour la clientèle orpheline), seeking in particular to evaluate whether these registries designed to help orphan patients find a GP actually improved access to GPs for people living with chronic diseases. The authors find that wait times to access a GP actually increased since the GACO registry was created in 2008. The percentage of patients registered with the GACOs to be referred to a GP ranges between 65% and 80% according to region.

Canada - Bringing Care Home This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report from the Expert Group on Home and Community Care, commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario, aims to improve services available to the province's population. Its recommendations will help advance the transformation from a home and community care system based on the needs and preferences of providers to one based on the needs and preferences of the client and family—bringing care home rather than providing homecare.

Canada - Developing a rapid-response program for health system decision-makers in Canada: findings from an issue brief and stakeholder dialogue This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The authors of this study say Canada’s health system needs a rapid response program to provide quick syntheses of research evidence for decision-makers on specific health system challenges. The authors developed a brief on the features of a rapid response program, which was then used in a stakeholder dialogue on implementation challenges.

Europe - Building primary care in a changing Europe This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In this report, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies analyses how primary care is organised and delivered across European countries, looking at governance, financing and workforce aspects and the breadth of the service profiles. It describes wide national variations in terms of accessibility, continuity and coordination, and financial, workforce and technological challenges.

Europe - Unwarranted variations in health care performance across Europe: Lessons from the ECHO Project This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Using evidence from the European Collaboration for Health-Care Optimization (ECHO) Project, the nine articles in this special issue of the European Journal of Public Health consider national variations in healthcare delivery within the European Union (EU). Articles describe variations in comorbidity measures, hospital efficiencies, avoidable hospitalizations, hip replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery and caesarean section. Two papers discuss ECHO itself.

USA - The Impacts of Local Health Department Consolidation on Public Health Expenditures: Evidence From Ohio This hyperlink will open in a new window.

The consolidation of municipal and county local health departments (LHDs) is perceived as a way to reduce costs. This study examined the effects of 20 city-county LHD consolidations in Ohio on total and administrative expenditures from 2001 to 2011. The study found that consolidated LHDs reduced total expenditures by almost 16%, although no significant change was seen in administrative expenditures.

UK - Patient access to general practice: ideas and challenges from the frontline This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Across the UK, general practitioner (GP) practices are pioneering new approaches to providing patients access to services. This paper explores the initiatives being tested and looks at challenges and emerging solutions. Its findings are relevant to individual clinicians and practices, but also have implications for policymakers and providers at both the national and local level.

UK - Putting patients in charge: the future of health and social care This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Although recent reforms have integrated aspects of the British health and social care systems, this report calls for the complete integration of the two systems. It argues this is the only way to ensure patient-centred care and care continuity, and make overall funding fairer and more sustainable. Most people in the UK cover their own social care costs.