Australia - Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s Medical Research Advisory Board has finalized a five-year strategy to support health and medical research and innovation. The strategy sets out the vision and objectives of the new Medical Research Future Fund, a $20 billion vehicle for investment in research into health and medical infrastructure, capacity, translation and commercialization.

Canada - Ontario: Wait times down in emergency, but still long for some patients This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new report by Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the provincial advisor on health care quality, shows a 10% drop in the maximum amount of time patients spent waiting in Ontario’s emergency departments (EDs). Urban residents wait longest, especially ED patients requiring hospital admission.

Europe - Europe paying a heavy price for chronic diseases, finds new OECD-EC report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Better public health and prevention policies as well as more effective health care could save hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of euros each year in Europe, according to a new joint OECD/European Commission report. Besides the loss of lives and the human tragedy that this always entails, Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 estimates that the premature deaths of 550,000 working age people across European Union countries from chronic diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer, cost EU economies EUR 115 billion or 0.8% of GDP annually.

USA - In New Survey of 11 Countries, U.S. Adults Still Struggle with Access to and Affordability of Health Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
An 11-country survey has found that US citizens are the most likely to go without needed health care because of cost factors. Americans are also more likely to report having poor health and emotional distress. Bright spots for US health care include collaborative hospital discharge planning and access to specialist care.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Towards an Accord for Change
The Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) is holding this conference from May 24 to 26, 2017, in Toronto. The deadline for abstract submissions is January 19, 2017. CAHSPR is a multidisciplinary association dedicated to improving health and health care by advancing the quality, relevance, and application of research on health services and health policy.

Italy - Towards an HTA Ecosystem: From Local Needs To Global Opportunities
Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) will hold this meeting in Rome, from June 17 to 21, 2017. The conference aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the benefits and challenges of different approaches and to foster collaboration among macro, meso and micro levels in HTA. The deadline to submit proposals for workshops and panels is December 2, 2016; for posters and oral presentations, the deadline is January 16, 2017.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Breadth vs. depth: How to start deploying the daily management system for your lean transformation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Lean Daily Management System (LDMS) addresses the management of daily operations during continuous improvement at the process level. This paper proposes a framework for healthcare organizations deploying an LDMS model. It examines whether to deploy LDMS in one area at a time or introduce a simplified version across the organization. Field research was conducted at three hospitals to test different deployment strategies.

Canada - The Role of the Federal Government in Health Care Report Card 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, this report card for 2016 uses 23 indicators to evaluate the federal government’s success in upholding national standards of care. It gives the government consistently mediocre grades on ensuring health care access, equity and funding, although there is strong support for research. Federal government support for primary care is minimal.

Europe – Cost-Containment Policies in Hospital Expenditure in the European Union This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This European Union study suggests that the reorganization and rationalization of care is a major factor in hospital cost containment, especially in institutions with high bed densities. It notes the difficulty of gauging the impact of tools to improve performance via structural changes.

UK - Sustainability and transformation plans in the NHS. How are they being developed in practice? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In England, sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) for health and care services are devolving planning, administration and delivery to local government levels. This research focuses on how STPs are being developed and implemented in four different communities, based on interviews with senior healthcare and local government leaders. Many challenges remain, including funding barriers and limited local capabilities.

UK - Realising the value. Ten key actions to put people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the Health Foundation, this final report of the Realizing the Value Program to develop a new healthcare relationship with communities sets out key lessons that draw on a social model of health and wellbeing based on clinical best practice, timely data and community social supports. The report’s 10 recommendations focus on changing NHS organizational methods and perspectives.

International - The Effects of Competition on Medical Service Provision This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper explores how physician competition affects medical service provision. Results revealed that introducing competition reduced both over-provision and under-provision, dependent on patient and payment characteristics.

International - From theory to action: developments in value frameworks to inform the allocation of health care resources This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Processes for assessing value involve many factors (methods, behaviours, contexts) that make up value frameworks. This Dutch article explores the value frameworks commonly used to inform the allocation of health care resources. It also investigates proposed frameworks to determine whether these are better suited to the needs of decision makers.

International - Building a Framework. The makings of a lean health care transformation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Written by a US hospital administrator, this article describes a framework for successfully instituting Lean management techniques in hospitals, arguing that the sector has too often applied Lean tools without the behaviors and principles required for improvements. The article discusses the roles of the "model cell" (the incubator within the organization for Lean techniques); the central improvement office; and management and administrative systems.

International - Why human resources policies and practices are critical to improving the patient experience This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This US paper argues that human resources (HR) policies, procedures and programs are key to improving patient experience by supporting an organization’s vision and culture. As the organization achieves a better understanding of how to best serve patients, HR can build patient care improvement into every aspect of the organization. The author also describes how competency-based performance reviews, compensation and retention strategies should reflect patient-centred values.