Headlines

Canada - Feds can afford $3.3 billion for health, including seniors, CMA says This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new report by the Conference Board of Canada demonstrates that the federal government can deliver meaningful support for seniors care, starting in the next budget cycle, Dr. Cindy Forbes, president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said recently. Commissioned by the CMA, the Conference Board report provides the economic costing for three proposed federal policy measures to support seniors care, beginning in the 2016-17 federal budget cycle. The three federal policy measures would total a $3.3 billion federal investment to support seniors care – $1.6 billion toward a demographic-based top-up to the Canada Health Transfer, $1.6 billion for catastrophic coverage for prescription drugs, and $90.8 million to make the caregiving tax credits refundable.

Europe - Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The physical activity strategy aims to inspire governments and stakeholders to work towards increasing the level of physical activity among all citizens of the European Region by: promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviours; ensuring an enabling environment that supports physical activity through engaging and safe built environments, accessible public spaces and infrastructure; providing equal opportunities for physical activity regardless of gender, age, income, education, ethnicity or disability; and removing barriers to and facilitating physical activity

UK - New rules launched to reduce agency spend in the NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) spends an annual £3.3 billion on agency staffing (privately contracted health professionals and workers). The NHS has now launched new rules that impose a ceiling on agency spending, require mandated staffing frameworks, and limit how much agency staff can be paid per shift.

UK - From 2020, people with suspected cancer will be diagnosed faster This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The British government has pledged that, beginning in 2020, people with suspected cancer will be diagnosed within 28 days of referral. According to the National Health Service (NHS), the new guarantee could save 11,000 lives per year. Plans to develop tailored recovery programs for cancer survivors by 2017 have also been announced.

USA - Policy Recommendations to Guide the Use of Telemedicine in Primary Care Settings: An American College of Physicians Position Paper This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued 23 policy recommendations on primary care telemedicine that buttress calls for its expansion, especially in established physician-patient relationships. The ACP supports government funding of the broadband infrastructure needed for telehealth and advocates lifting restrictions limiting the reimbursement of telemedicine services by US Medicare.

International - Child mortality rates plunge by more than half since 1990 but global MDG target missed by wide margin This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the WHO shows that global mortality rates for children under age 5 have dropped from 12.7 million deaths in 1990 to 5.9 million in 2015. The 53% drop in under-5 mortality misses by a wide margin the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of a two-thirds reduction over the same time period.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Infoway Partnership Conference 2015
The conference is being held in Vancouver on November 24 and 25, 2015. Clinical priorities such as coordination of care and medication management will be addressed, along with strategies for engaging clinician leaders, exchanging health information and managing data sharing agreements.

Canada - 2016 Quality Conference
The 5th annual conference hosted by Accreditation Canada takes place April 25 and 26, 2016, in Montreal. Connect with your peers about your quality improvement strategies, successes, and challenges.

Canada - Personality Disorders Across the Lifespan
The International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders is holding its 14th annual conference in Montreal from October 13 to 16, 2015. It is designed to explore research and clinical applications for the treatment of personality disorders across developmental periods.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Positive Disruption: Healthcare, Ageing & Participation in the Age of Technology This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to this report, Australia is on the cusp of two disruptive transformations: rapid population aging and a technological revolution. In response, the report makes recommendations concerning targeted investments in healthcare technologies to rectify system inefficiencies and outmoded practices. The introduction of information system protocols to mandate interoperability across government is a key recommendation.

Brazil - Case study on working time organization and its effects in the health services sector This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the International Labour Office (ILO), this paper explores working time organization (work scheduling and time at work) in Brazil’s health services sector. The paper explores working time arrangements for different types of health workers and identifies areas where improvements would better meet the needs of workers and organizations.

UK - Waiting time prioritisation: evidence from England This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Numerous countries have introduced wait time policies prioritizing severely ill patients. This study investigates how patients in England are prioritized using a national dataset of 200,000 people waiting for hip and knee replacement between 2009 and 2012. It finds that patients with the worst pain and immobility have the shortest waits, particularly in hospitals with longer average waiting times.

UK - Improving Customer Experience in Mental Health Service: A case Study of Ivy Willis House This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This case study report looks at UK mental health institutions and the difficulties they face in funding, staffing, support, patient satisfaction and research. The report focuses on Ivy Willis House, a rehabilitation centre in London, England, and uses business and marketing analyses to plan improvements to customer (patient) experience in the public mental health service.

UK - Improving length of stay: what can hospitals do? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Combining evidence from the literature with insights from case studies and senior clinicians, this paper promotes effective ways to reduce hospital length of stay. The paper recommends focusing on flow while maintaining a rapid pace for decision-making and patient progress and ensuring support for discharge seven days a week. The authors consider that large-scale top-down change is often not required.

UK - Seven Day Services: An Evidence Base of Enablers for Transformation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) Seven Day Services Team leads a service improvement program across England to support access to health care every day of the week. This Team document shares findings from 42 interviews at NHS providers working towards seven-day service. Key enablers identified include delivery mechanisms, systems alignment, distributed leadership, and baseline and ongoing measurement.

USA - Measuring the quality of healthcare in the U.S. This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The American healthcare system is vast, and has no easy way to determine the quality of its products and services. This brief describes various approaches to measuring the quality of US health care and provides trend and comparative statistics on key measures. Available data suggests the quality of US health care is improving, but is falling short of other developed countries.

International - Emergency Care Services: Trends, Drivers and Interventions to Manage the Demand This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Emergency departments (EDs) often face high demand for their services. This report from the OECD summarizes trends in the volume of ED visits across 21 OECD countries. It describes the main drivers of visits, paying attention to both demand and supply side determinants. National approaches to improving emergency resources are presented.

France - Theoretical basis for health system performance assessment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article proposes a theoretical framework for the concept of performance and performance assessment in France’s health sector. The authors review influential theories on the application of performance assessment.