Canada - Major $1.3 Billion Investment for Quicker Access to Specialized Care and Services in Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ontario is improving access to health care by investing $1.3 billion over three years to reduce wait times, with more than $285 million designated for the year 2017-2018. Patients will see improved local access through the introduction of innovative interprofessional models of care, including new ways to assess patients with lower back, hip, and knee pain.

Canada - Healthcare Organizations Across Canada Launch Improvement Projects This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In April 2017, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) announced nine healthcare improvement projects it will support through its flagship fellowship program. Selected healthcare organizations in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia will implement and evaluate projects focusing on innovative ways of providing patient care in the home and communities.

Canada - Release of New Brunswick Family Plan report on improving access to primary and acute care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New Brunswick’s government has released a report on improving access to primary and acute care that is part of the province’s Family Plan focusing action on priority healthcare areas. The report highlights initiatives to shift hospital-based care to a community integrated treatment framework and outlines actions to achieve better health outcomes.

USA - Deep Inequities Exist in States’ Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies, 2017 Index Shows This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has released the results of the 2017 National Health Security Preparedness Index, an annual assessment of the 50 US states’ preparedness for community health emergencies. Significant inequities in preparedness continue to exist, with states in the American south and west lagging behind northeast and Pacific coast states.

Upcoming Events

Australia - 4th International Health Care Reform Conference
Taking place in Sydney from March 21 to 23, 2018, this event brings together health care organizations, policy makers, consumers, researchers and clinicians. Entitled "Moving care from hospital to community," it will focus on capacity building, consumer engagement, service integration, funding models, change management, international innovation, technology, policy enablers and eHealth. The call for abstracts opens on June 5, 2017.

USA - 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health
Hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the conference will be held in Arlington, Virginia from December 4 to 6, 2017. In the decade since its inception, the conference has become the preeminent event to bridge the gap between evidence, practice, and health policy. The call for abstracts will open in late May and includes 10 thematic tracks, including big data and technology, clinical care settings, health policy, prevention and public health, and dissemination and implementation models and methods. 

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Team-based innovations in primary care delivery in Quebec and timely physician follow-up after hospital discharge: a population-based cohort study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Outpatient follow-up is key to addressing gaps in care after hospital discharge. This Québec study estimated the association between enrolment in new team-based primary care practices and 30-day post-discharge physician follow-up. The study found lower rates of follow-up with a medical specialist among patients enrolled in team-based primary care practices compared with those in traditional primary care practices.

Canada - The Value of Expanded Pharmacy Services in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The scope of pharmacy services has expanded in many Canadian jurisdictions in recent years. This report estimates the health and economic impact of three pharmacy services with the potential for further expansion: smoking cessation, management of cardiovascular disease, and pneumococcal vaccination. Over the 20-year forecast period, the estimated economic value of expanding these services ranges from $2.5 billion to $25.7 billion.

Europe - Integrating care for people with multimorbidity: what does the evidence tell us? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The European Union (EU) ICARE4EU project was created to investigate new approaches to integrated care for the 50 million people in Europe with multimorbidity, a number expected to rise significantly in the future. Five policy briefs share the project findings related to integrated care design, applicability, effective implementation, financing mechanisms and the role of eHealth.

Japan - The Vanguard of Community-based Integrated Care in Japan: The Effect of a Rural Town on National Policy This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Japan has the largest percentage of elderly people in the world. This paper describes the challenges of establishing a community-based integrated care system in 1974 in the rural town of Mitsugi that subsequently became the basis for a nationwide system introduced in 2012. The paper analyzes the rural Mitsugi example, its influence on national policy, and applicability for urban areas.  

Portugal - Health system review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Since the 2008 economic crisis, health sector reform in Portugal has been guided by financing agreements between the Portuguese Government and international lending institutions. While measures mainly focus on containing costs and improving efficiency to ensure financial sustainability, this review says significant health inequalities persist and quality and accessibility of care is likely to be negatively affected by continuing budget cuts.

UK - The cost-effectiveness of population Health Checks: have the NHS Health Checks been unfairly maligned? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) provides primary care Health Checks to identify adult patients at risk of disease. This study is the first to use NHS data to consider whether the Checks represent a cost-effective use of resources. It finds the Checks are associated with a reduction in patient body mass index (BMI). Coupled with the procedure’s low cost, findings suggests that Health Checks are a cost-effective policy.

UK - Caring to change: how compassionate leadership can stimulate innovation in health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by a private think-tank for the National Health Service (NHS), this report considers the relationship between innovation, compassionate leadership, and organizational culture in the healthcare sector. The report identifies compassion as the core cultural value of the NHS and analyzes four fundamental elements of a culture for innovative and high-quality care (vision, inclusion, autonomy and support). Case study examples are included.

USA - Lessons from States on Advancing Evidence-based State Health Policymaking for the Effective Stewardship of Healthcare Resources This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), this briefing provides US states with actionable information on evidence-based policymaking. It describes why states should work with evidence, and presents key considerations for developing an evidence-based policymaking process, along with strategies for engaging patients and consumers.

International - Value in Healthcare. Laying the Foundation for Health System Transformation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Synthesizing the preliminary findings of the World Economic Forum’s Value in Healthcare project, this report focuses on concepts and definitions while developing a value-based health system framework and system transformation roadmap that emphasize public policy priorities. It advises tracking patient outcomes and associated costs across the cycle of care to develop customized interventions that improve value for specific populations.