Headlines

Canada - Giving birth, lung and heart problems among top reasons for hospitalization This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), giving birth continues to be the most common reason for hospitalization across Canada, accounting for 11.8% of all hospitalizations. Other top reasons for hospitalization include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitis (3%), acute myocardial infarction (2.3%), pneumonia (2.3%) and heart failure (2.2%).

Canada – Manitoba Province Commissions Quality Assurance Assessment of Clinical Consolidation Plan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Manitoba's provincial government has commissioned a private company, Health Intelligence Inc., to conduct a quality assurance assessment of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s (WRHA) clinical consolidation plan. The WHRA plan seeks to consolidate both mental health services and surgical services into fewer facilities, thinking this might improve efficiency and patient safety.

Europe - Expert Panel’s reflection on priorities for the future of healthcare in the EU This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The European Union (EU) Expert Panel on future priorities in health care has released a preliminary report that recommends strengthening EU protections for health care, investments in health promotion and prevention, and the development of new, affordable models of care. The report calls for creating learning communities to bring together expertise, experience and best practices.

France - Accelerating digital health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Digital health is one of 10 priority areas announced by the Ministre des Solidarités et de la Santé in France as part of the Ma Santé 2022 plan. This roadmap sets the main directions of digital health policy. It presents five strategies for accelerating the digital shift: strengthening governance; enhancing security and interoperability; accelerating the deployment of foundational digital services, as well as platforms at the national level; and supporting innovation and stakeholder engagement.

International - Over 20 million children worldwide missed out on measles vaccine annually in past 8 years, creating a pathway to current global outbreaks This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to UNICEF, an estimated 169 million children worldwide missed out on a first dose of measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017. Widening pockets of unvaccinated children have since created a pathway to the measles outbreaks currently hitting countries around the globe. Two doses of measles vaccine are essential to protect children from the disease.

Upcoming Events

Australia - Achieving better value for people and populations This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The International Foundation for Integrated Care is holding its 2nd Asia Pacific Conference in Melbourne from November 11 to 13, 2019. The call for abstract submissions is open until June 28, and papers may address themes of value, implementation, innovations and evaluation of integrated care, along with empowering people and communities.

Taiwan - Transforming Quality for Tomorrow This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Organized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the British Medical Journal, in collaboration with regional partners, this conference will present the latest evidence on improving quality and safety in health care. It takes place in Taipei from September 18 to 20, 2019. The programme includes visits to exceptional healthcare organisations across Taipei.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Belgium - Performance of the Belgian Health System – Report 2019 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
To assess the performance of Belgium's health system, this report used 121 indicators to analyze five dimensions of care: accessibility, quality, efficiency, sustainability and equity. Including sections on preventive care, hospital care, long-term care and community-based care, the report notes improvements across the board except in mental health services, where access remains a national problem. Belgium is currently experiencing a shortage of general practitioners.

Canada - Healthcare Spending Overshoots a Threat to Sustainability This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by the CD Howe Institute, this article says that healthcare spending by Canada's provinces has accelerated over the past four years as governments continue to overshoot budget targets. The article warns that while governments typically budget growth that should be fiscally sustainable, actual growth in healthcare costs is now outrunning what Canada’s economy and tax base can support in the long run.

Canada - An Evaluation of British Columbia's Accelerated Integrated Primary and Community Care Initiatives This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2012, British Columbia's Health Ministry introduced 20 accelerated integrated primary and community care (aIPCC) initiatives across the province to improve connections between primary and community-based health care. This study assessed 11 outcomes in each initiative, focusing on hospital costs, acute hospitalizations, and emergency department visits. It found that the aIPCC initiatives did not decrease utilization of hospitals, emergency departments, physicians or pharmaceuticals.

Europe - Opinion on Task shifting and health system design This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Authored by a European Union (EU) expert panel, this paper looks at the contemporary division of labour in health care to ask if worker task shifting can strengthen health system resilience and effectiveness. The paper investigates the drivers, enablers, and barriers to task shifting before concluding that health systems must embrace flexibility in professional roles, including task shifting, in order to maximize system design and future health gains.

UK - Putting Patients at the Heart of Artificial Intelligence This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Bringing together the views of patients, policymakers, healthcare professionals, academics, parliamentarians and the health technology industry, this UK Parliamentary report highlights the need to consider patient perspectives on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The report calls for engaging patients during the adoption of data-driven AI technologies to ensure these innovations do not fall victim to crises of public confidence.

UK - Mass media to communicate public health messages in six health topic areas: a systematic review and other reviews of the evidence This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) commissioned this review examining the effective use of mass media campaigns in six health areas (alcohol, tobacco, diet, illicit drugs, physical activity, and sexual and reproductive health). While evidence was mixed, the review found that mass media campaigns can reduce sedentary behaviour, improve sexual health, and contribute to smoking cessation. Features that increase campaign effectiveness are identified.

USA - Partnerships, Programs, and Platforms: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Multi-Sector Data Sharing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC), this report highlights initiatives that use data-sharing technology to address health disparities and provide better care and services by connecting healthcare systems with social service organizations. The report calls for viewing multi-sector data collaboration through an equity lens and improving the coordination of national information systems by integrating eligibility and enrolment systems for government programs such as Medicaid.

International - How was research engaged with and used in the development of 131 policy documents? Findings and measurement implications from a mixed methods study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted by Australian academics, this study analyzed 131 health policy documents to assess how they incorporated relevant research. The study found that research engagement and use was generally moderate across the policy documents, with no barrier significantly associated with any aspect of engagement or use. Access to consultants and relationships with researchers were both associated with increased research engagement but not with its use in policy documents.

International - What makes mental health and substance use services youth friendly? A scoping review of literature This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This scoping review examined the available literature on youth-friendly mental health and substance use services in order to identify their characteristics. Authors identified 28 relevant documents and found that youth-friendly mental health and substance use services include integrated, inclusive, confidential and safe organization and policy characteristics. Almost all youth-friendly services emphasize appropriate communication and counselling skills, accessible locations, minimal wait times, and individualized and innovative approaches.

International - Improving Forecasting of Pharmaceutical Spending - Insights from 23 OECD and EU Countries Analytical Report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Based on a 2018 online survey and produced by the OECD, this report maps current practices in 23 OECD and European Union (EU) countries’ in tracking pharmaceutical expenditures and setting budgetary spending caps. The first section of the report presents a literature review, while the second section describes findings and recommended practices for countries that are introducing pharmaceutical expenditure projections to inform future policymaking.