Australia - Hospitals need a system to protect patients from treatments they should not get This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This research report finds that many patients in Australia are receiving unnecessary or ineffective treatments because of poor systematic monitoring by hospitals. The report identifies 5 such treatments received by nearly 6,000 patients in 2012.

Canada - Ontario Funds Bundled Care Teams to Improve Patient Experience This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Patients in six communities across the province will now benefit from an approach called bundled care, which is helping people transition more smoothly out of hospital and into their homes. The bundled care model provides a single payment to a team of health care providers to cover care for patients both in the hospital and at home. As a patient moves throughout the system and back to their home, the majority of their health care team remains the same. Services are coordinated around the patient's needs, resulting in fewer emergency department visits and less risk of being readmitted to hospital.

France - Emergency departments: 7 in 10 patients wait less than an hour for treatment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The report produced by the DREES presents data on wait times for medical care in emergency departments (ED) in France. ED registration and triage occurs within a half hour of arrival for 9 in 10 patients, and care actually begins within an hour for 7 in 10 patients. Data are also analyzed by time the day and patient age. Finding a bed for in-patient treatment takes more than 4 hours for 10% of patients; however, this wait is only 10 minutes for 45% of patients.

Switzerland - Patients get more information regarding hospital treatment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This document from the Swiss Confederation presents indicators of acute care in Swiss hospitals published by the Federal Office of Public Health. They now include the treatment of skin diseases and transplantation. In addition, the average length of stay is reported for certain hospital treatments (eg. treatment of myocardial infarction, tonsillectomy).

USA - $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 community health centers This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In August 2015, the US government announced funding of $169 million for new community health centres in 46 American states. Made available by the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the funding will increase access to primary healthcare services for over 1.2 million patients and add to the 700 new health centres that have already been funded.

International - Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health: consultation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Posted online, this initial draft of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health is now open to input from individuals and institutions that will be incorporated into the next draft, to be discussed in Geneva, Switzerland on October 29 and 30, 2015. The draft zero proposes the following 5 strategic objectives: 1. Committing to foster healthy ageing in every country, 2. Aligning health systems to the needs of older populations, 3. Developing long-term care systems, 4. Creating age-friendly environments, and 5. Improving measuring, monitoring and understanding.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Health Quality Transformation 2015
This year's conference will be held on October 14 and 15, 2015, in Toronto. The program includes lunchtime learning sessions, interactive workshops and is certified Patients Included. The conference features 17 unique breakout sessions and over 60 thought leaders and health system innovators.

Switzerland - Sustainable and Affordable Innovations in Healthcare
The Geneva Health Forum takes place from April 19 to 21, 2016. Abstracts for workshops, oral presentations and poster sessions may be submitted before October 1, 2015. The proposals should discuss innovative solutions for healthcare systems that are sustainable and less costly than current solutions on the market. Solutions that have already been implemented with success and evaluated will be prioritized.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Australia's welfare 2015 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides an overview of the wellbeing of Australians in 2015 and combines analytical articles on a variety of welfare issues with short statistical snapshots using a life-course approach. The report covers the workforce, welfare spending and demography, child wellbeing, and diversity and disadvantage.

Canada - The Price of Public Health Care Insurance: 2015 Edition This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Fraser Institute report sets out to calculate the actual costs of public healthcare insurance in 2015. The report estimates that average payments range from $3,789 to $12,055 a year for Canadian families divided into 6 family types at various income levels.

Europe - Efficiency estimates of health care systems in the EU This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper estimates the relative efficiency of European Union (EU) healthcare systems. Results show that average EU life expectancy could be increased by 1.8 years if lower performing systems moved to the highest efficiency levels. Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands consistently score among the top seven performers.

Germany - Do Hospitals Respond to Increasing Prices by Supplying Fewer Services? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Models of supplier-induced demand predict that medical providers will supply fewer services when faced with price increases. This paper tests this prediction by examining German hospital financing reforms that changed the overall level of reimbursement without affecting relative prices for different types of patients. The paper finds that hospitals do react to rising prices by reducing service supply.

UK - Integration and continuity of primary care: polyclinics and alternatives - a patient-centred analysis of how organisation constrains care co-ordination This hyperlink will open in a new window.
An aging population, specialized clinical services, and diverse provider governance all make healthcare coordination difficult in the UK. This research paper examines how organizational integration impacts the coordination of primary care and concludes that integration seems more likely to develop continuity of care than networks that divide hospitals, general practices and community health services.

UK - Measuring employee productivity This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Exploring measures of productivity, this Public Health England report focuses on employee health, absenteeism and presenteeism (working while ill). Its key finding is that measures of labour productivity must take into account multiple input and output factors, particularly the quality of completed work and the effects on organizational wellbeing of presenteeism, described as the single greatest cause of decreased output.

USA - Redefining Health Care Systems This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the RAND Corporation, this downloadable 144-page book discusses health services research over the past 50 years and how this research base can stimulate innovation to make patient-centred healthcare systems safer, more efficient, and cost-effective in their responses to increasingly diverse communities. The role physicians can play as thought leaders is emphasized.

International - Investment in human resources for health: impact on health outcomes and beyond This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The three papers in this series include research, case studies and a review, and aim to expand the evidence base on the effects of investment in human resources for health. Topics are related to the health and socio-economic impact of health workforce investment on health outcomes, health service coverage, labour market conditions and sustainable development goals.