Headlines

Canada - Greater efficiencies realized in Ontario's cancer system This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Cancer Quality Council of Ontario has released findings from the 2016 Cancer System Quality Index (CSQI) that measures the performance of the province’s cancer system. The findings indicate that efficiencies, such as new cancer treatment centres, have begun improving patient outcomes and safety by enabling greater capacity in the system.

Canada - Taking seniors off antipsychotics shows dramatic improvement in care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) initiative to reduce antipsychotic use by seniors in long-term care (LTC) has shown dramatic results — far fewer falls, less aggression, and improved quality of life. Contrary to expectations, inappropriate behaviours decreased by over 50% in the sample of 416 LTC residents whose antipsychotic use was discontinued.

New Zealand - Health Research Strategy: discussion document This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Seeking public views on a health research and innovation strategy for the next 10 years, this discussion document sets out the framework and guiding principles proposed by New Zealand’s health ministry. The consultation ends July 29, 2016.

Switzerland - Health 2020: 10 priorities for 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Swiss government has announced its top 10 health priorities for 2016 in line with the European Union (EU) Health 2020 framework. The measures include a strategy for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and the launch of consultations on modifying health insurance to introduce a reference price system.

International - World Health Statistics 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Dramatic gains in life expectancy have been made globally since 2000, but major inequalities persist within and among countries, according to this year’s “World Health Statistics: Monitoring Health for the SDGs”. The “World Health Statistics 2016” provides a comprehensive overview of the latest annual data in relation to the health-related targets in the SDGs, illustrating the scale of the challenge.

Upcoming Events

Canada - 3rd Montreal international conference on clinical reasoning
Organized by the Université de Montréal, this biennial conference provides an international forum for educators and educational researchers to present and exchange ideas and research findings in the field of clinical reasoning. The conference takes place from October 25 to 28, 2016, in Montreal, and is open to all healthcare professionals, educators and researchers who have an interest in clinical reasoning.

USA - 9th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation
Co-hosted by the National Institutes of Health and Academy Health, this conference aims to grow the research base by bridging the gap between evidence, practice, and policy in health and medicine. The conference takes place on December 14 and 15, 2016, in Washington, DC. Abstracts for oral, poster or panel presentations touching on behavioural health, big data, clinical care settings, health equity, health policy, prevention, and methods may be submitted until August 20, 2016.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Report on the Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Health Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by Australia’s House of Representatives, this report by a parliamentary inquiry into the country’s chronic disease management examines the burden of chronic disease in Australia. Current provision of primary healthcare for chronic disease, best practices in prevention, management and treatment, and ways to improve targeted primary care funding are examined. The report makes 42 recommendations and discusses 19 chronic diseases.

Canada - Potential of physician assistants to support primary care. Evaluating their introduction at 6 primary care and family medicine sites This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Manitoba study looks at strategies for introducing physician assistants (PAs) into primary care settings. The authors evaluated the roles of PAs at six sites and conducted focus groups with participating PAs and professional colleagues. Collaborative planning was found to help integrate PAs effectively into most primary care settings over a short period of time, with high acceptance from stakeholders.

France - Payment for performance in public health. Continual improvement on quality and the pertinence of care. 4-year assessment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Four years into its implementation, the results of the payment for performance program in France known as ROSP shows the practice to be a change lever among more than 110,000 eligible private physicians. Between 2011 and 2015, it encouraged improvements in the management of patients with chronic diseases and more relevant and effective prescriptions that help to control health spending; furthermore, the practice prompted a modernization of medical practices for the benefit of patients.

UK - Reshaping the workforce to deliver the care patients need This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK National Health Service (NHS) faces a growing gap between patient needs and the skills and knowledge of healthcare workers. This Nuffieldtrust report on identifies facilitators and obstacles to change and provides recommendations for national and local bodies. The report draws on interviews with stakeholders, a survey of NHS organizations, and case studies.

UK - Managing the supply of NHS clinical staff in England This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Released by Britain’s House of Commons, this report on the supply of clinical staff finds that the English National Health Service (NHS) is currently understaffed by over 50,000 positions. The report says the NHS does a poor job of retaining staff, is experiencing an acute nursing shortage, and sets unrealistic efficiency targets. The report includes 10 recommendations.

USA - Systems Practices for the Care of Socially At-Risk Populations This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Since 2010, US Medicare and Medicaid services have been moving to value-based payments (VBPs) that include incentive programs and risk-based alternative payment models. This article discusses evidence from these programs showing that providers serving patients with social risk factors for poor health outcomes are more likely to fare poorly on quality rankings and are less likely to receive financial rewards.

International - Ethical priority setting for universal health coverage: challenges in deciding upon fair distribution of health services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Priority setting is inevitable on any path towards universal health coverage as all countries experience a gap between their population’s health needs and what is economically feasible for government to provide. This Norwegian commentary asks if priority setting can ever be fair and ethically acceptable, and sets three criteria for governments: cost-effectiveness, giving priority to the worse-off, and financial risk protection.

International - Are better health outcomes related to social expenditure? A cross-national empirical analysis of social expenditure and population health measures This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Studies have shown that social spending and the ratio of social to health spending are associated with better health outcomes. This paper builds on this finding by incorporating other factors — social capital and income inequality — into its assessment at the cross-national level. It finds that public social expenditure by government seems to have a particularly strong relationship with population health outcomes.