Headlines

Australia - Significant health gap remains between Australians with disability and those without disability This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report finds that Australians with disability are significantly more likely to report having poor health than those without disability. The report shows that in 2011, 51% of Australians aged 15 to 64 with severe or profound disabilities rated their health as poor or fair, compared with 6% for those without disability.

Canada - Alberta acts on mental health recommendations This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Alberta is moving to prioritize recommendations made in a report from its Mental Health Review Committee. The province will add medical detoxification beds, expand access to addiction treatment for youth, develop an opiates addiction action plan, launch a child and youth mental health website, and develop performance monitoring and implementation teams.

Canada - New Pilot Program Allows Saskatchewan Residents to View their Personal Health Care Information Online This hyperlink will open in a new window.
eHealth Saskatchewan is piloting a program that allows residents to view their personal health information online through a secure website. The six-month trial Citizen Health Information Portal (CHIP) Pilot will allow 1,000 participants to view lab results and immunization, pharmacy and hospital visit history from anywhere in the world.

Canada - Positive trends in antipsychotic use in LTC emerging: Initiatives to address inappropriate use showing success This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Despite the known health risks of antipsychotics, 39% of residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities were prescribed an antipsychotic at least once in 2014. This is the finding of a new report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) — Use of Antipsychotics Among Seniors Living in Long-Term Care Facilities, 2014 — that looks at the overall use of these drugs (including cases where use may be appropriate). Antipsychotics are often prescribed to seniors to treat symptoms of dementia, such as aggression and agitation, as well as schizophrenia and other psychoses, but they can have harmful side effects.

UK - A National Clinical Strategy for Scotland This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The new National Clinical Strategy for Scotland sets out a framework for the development of health services for the next decade. The framework includes the delivery of primary care and hospital services, and the provision of effective and sustainable health care supported by investment in e-health and technological advances.

Upcoming Events

Austria - 9th European Public Health Conference
This year's conference will be held from November 9 to 12, 2016, in Vienna. Abstracts may be submitted until May 1, in categories of research, practice, policy and training and education. Workshops may also be proposed. A wide range of thematic tracks is available.

UK - International Health Policy Conference 2017
The London School of Economics (LSE) Health & Social Care and Department of Social Policy announces a call for papers for the inaugural International Health Policy Conference, to be held in London from February 16 to 19, 2017. This unique conference seeks to bring together academics and policy-makers from a wide range of disciplines to take a multi-disciplinary approach to key health and social care issues. The five themes are: international health systems; social care and mental health; regulation and assessment of health technologies; behaviour; and population studies.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Integrating Long-Term Care into a Community-Based Continuum. Shifting from “Beds” to “Places” This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The authors of this IRPP study argue that if more community support were available, the tipping point at which patients with greater care needs require residential long-term care would be higher, and people would be able to stay at home longer. Drawing on research in Ontario and overseas, the authors examine some promising community--based rural and urban initiatives. Through the lens of neo-institutional political theory, they analyze the hurdles encountered in attempting to scale up or replicate such initiatives.

UK - Under Pressure: What The Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 International Survey Of General Practitioners Means For The UK This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2015, the US-based Commonwealth Fund surveyed 12,049 primary care physicians across 11 countries, including 1,001 general practitioners (GPs) from the UK. This British report looks at the survey’s results for the UK, focusing on GP satisfaction (lower than in other countries); care coordination (generally poor); and the use of electronic medical records (used daily by 98% of GPs).

UK - Delivering the benefits of digital health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Undertaken for the UK National Health Service (NHS), this report on the benefits of digital technologies in health care focuses on clinical information decision support, knowledge management tools, real-time patient monitoring, coordinated care support, telehealth specialist access, improved resource management, user-centred design and analytics.

UK - Improving quality in the English NHS. A strategy for action This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report argues that England’s branch of the UK National Health Service (NHS) cannot hope to meet health needs without a coherent, comprehensive and sustained commitment to quality improvement as its principal strategy. The report reviews the recent history of policies to improve the quality of care in the English NHS, outlines the key features of a quality improvement strategy, and describes the role of NHS organizations at different levels.

USA - Digital Health Innovation Super-Utilizer Challenge: Themes and Lessons This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Although the market for digital health tools is flourishing, few products are designed to meet the needs of low-income, high-need, high-cost patients. To address this market gap, in early 2015 the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) held a national Super-Utilizer Health Innovation Challenge to demonstrate the viability of products designed for this population. This report summarizes themes and lessons from the Challenge.

USA - Home-Based Primary Care Interventions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Assessing evidence about home-based primary care (HBPC) interventions for adults with serious or disabling chronic conditions, this US comparative effectiveness review examines 19 studies published since 1998. While HBPC was seen to have a positive impact on patient and caregiver experience (including satisfaction, quality of life, and caregiver needs), the strength of evidence for these outcomes was low.

International - Interprofessional teamwork innovations for primary health care practices and practitioners: evidence from a comparison of reform in three countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Investigating primary care interprofessional teamwork innovations in Australia, Canada and the US, this Australian review examined 12 studies to assess the impact and local context of reforms. Variations were associated with contextual factors such as the size, power dynamics, leadership, and physical environment of the practice. Unintended consequences included conflict between medical and nonmedical professional groups.

International - Public Spending Efficiency in the OECD. Benchmarking Health Care, Education and General Administration This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the efficiency of welfare spending in a 2012 sample of countries in the OECD that focuses on health care, secondary education and general public services. The paper finds wide dispersion in efficiency measures across OECD countries and provides possible quantified improvements for both output and input efficiency.

International - A review of pay-for-performance programs in the inpatient sector in OECD countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Providing an overview of 30 pay-for-performance (P4P) programs in the inpatient sectors of 14 countries in the OECD, this German review finds that, although the institution of P4P is widespread, country programs and their impacts are very heterogeneous. Results of published evaluations of the 30 P4P programs ranged from no effect to moderately positive effects.