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Bulletin

The OISSS electronic monitoring bulletin is disseminated free of charge to subscribers every two weeks in French and English. The Bulletin monitors current news, upcoming events, and publications related to reforms of healthcare systems around the world, in particular in OECD countries and countries of the Americas.

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Headlines

Australia - Mental health services in Australia

Published as downloadable reports since 2011, this latest edition of Mental Health Services in Australia (MHSA) provides the most recent data available on the national response of the health service system to the mental healthcare needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available. $9.1 billion was spent on mental health in 2016–17. Use of restrictive practices in mental health facilities continues to fall.

Canada - The Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) 2019 vision charts the future of family practice

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) 2019 vision is designed to help family practices respond to the evolving needs of communities. It emphasizes collaboration, accessibility, continuity and social accountability. The PMH 2019 vision provides a baseline for care standards with a focus on optimizing technology and the use of electronic medical records.

Canada - Alberta launches MyHealth Records

Alberta's government has released a new online tool called MyHealth Records that gives adults access to downloadable personal health records, including immunizations, medications and results from 50 common laboratory tests. Users must sign up for the service and obtain a MyAlberta Digital ID, a secure form of identification for online verification.

Canada - Advance Health Care Directives: A New Brunswick Guide

This guide was produced by the Public Legal Education and Information Services of New Brunswick. It aims to educate the public on new provincial legislation that enables individuals to set out their future healthcare wishes and ensure these are known to healthcare professionals. The guide explains who can create a health care directive, how to create it, where to keep it, and how to update it or revoke it.

Canada - Wait times for joint replacements and cataract surgery growing in much of Canada

According to CIHI, 30% of patients in the 10 Canadian provinces who required a joint replacement (hip and knee) or cataract surgery in 2018 did not have the procedure done within recommended wait times. Data on trends is available at CIHI’s online Wait Times tool, organized by province and procedure.

Upcoming Events

France - Primary Care and Local Communities: Health Equity for Everyone, Everywhere

The European Forum for Primary Care takes place in Nanterre, France, from September 29 to October 1, 2019. The call for abstracts is open with a deadline of May 1. Three formats of abstract are welcome: Research abstracts with results, policy debate abstracts, in particular from policymakers, and practice video abstracts (3 to 5 minutes) that present case descriptions.

Hungary - 2019 CHRODIS PLUS Conference

CHRODIS PLUS is a three-year initiative (2017-2020) funded by the European Commission and participating organisations and aimed at reducing the burden of chronic diseases, tackling functional decline and empowering patients. The CHRODIS PLUS conference takes place this year in Budapest on May 14 and 15. It will present best practices, tools and policies in EU countries and a strategic framework for their implementation.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Belgium - Cost Sharing and Protection Mechanisms in Health. Examples of Hypothetical Simulations: Results

Patient cost sharing and social protection mechanisms are features of Belgium's health insurance system. These include co-payments, coinsurance, and a maximum billing scheme. This technical report uses micro-simulation modeling to evaluate the budgetary and distributional consequences of recent government proposals to change cost sharing and social protection mechanisms. The report has 54 sections, each with tables summarizing specific findings.

Canada - Supporting Learning and Continuous Practice Improvement for Physicians in Canada: A New Way Forward

There is a new vision for CPD for doctors in Canada. The report of the Future of Medical Education in Canada Continuing Professional Development (FMEC-CPD) initiative describes a new CPD system that supports physician learning and practice improvement and sustains innovation and quality improvement for the health of Canadians. The FMEC-CPD report, developed by seven leading Canadian medical organizations, provides 11 recommendations to ensuring that CPD helps physicians evolve and improve their practice throughout their careers in response to patient and community needs.

Europe - Working hour characteristics and schedules among nurses in three Nordic countries – a comparative study using payroll data

Using payroll data, this study compares working hours and schedules for 82,000 Danish, Norwegian and Finnish public hospital nurses in 2013. Permanent night work schedules are most common in Norway and 12-hour night shifts are more common in Denmark. Alone among the three countries, Denmark has a tradition of arranging the workday into three shifts, with more variation seen in Finland and Norway.

UK - Closing the gap. Key areas for action on the health and care workforce

The National Health Service (NHS) is facing a staffing shortage, with hospitals and providers reporting a shortage of over 100,000 full-time employees (representing one in every eleven positions). Focusing on nursing and general practice, this report presents a set of interventions to help overcome the current workforce crisis. It calls for increases in nurse hiring, training and pay, with an emphasis on international recruitment.

UK - The Primary Care Network Handbook

The English branch of the National Health Service (NHS) is developing primary care networks (PCNs). These are general practices working together with other primary healthcare organisations to provide integrated services to local populations. Beginning in April 2019, individual general practices will be able to come together to establish PCNs covering up to 50,000 people. This handbook was created to give advice and options to general practices looking to establish PCNs.

International - The impact of decentralisation on the performance of health care systems. A non-linear relationship

This paper examines the relationship between the degree of administrative decentralisation across levels of government in health care decision-making and health care spending, life expectancy as well as hospital costs.

International - Using digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services. Perspectives from Australia and the USA

This report explores what the UK might learn from the USA and Australia about using digital technology in mental health services. The authors interviewed 55 mental health technologists in 27 American and Australian organizations. Findings from those interviews are grouped into five themes: rethinking service design and delivery; prevention and self-help; digital phenotyping; support for innovation; and research insights. Eighteen case studies accompany the report.

International - The dos and don’ts of influencing policy: a systematic review of advice to academics

Many academics have strong incentives to influence policymaking, but may not know where to start. This paper by British authors synthesizes relevant ‘how to’ advice from peer-reviewed and grey literature in order to come up with six recommendations for academics: ensure high-quality research; understand policy processes; be accessible; choose between being an issue advocate or honest broker; build relationships; and engage in continuous reflection.  

International - A cross-country study of mis-implementation in public health practice

The mis-implementation (premature termination or inappropriate continuation) of public health programs contributes to the misallocation of public health resources. This study examined the occurrence of mis-implementation in chronic disease prevention interventions in Australia, Brazil, China and the US. It found that decisions about continuing or ending a program were often seen as a function of program popularity and funding availability as opposed to effectiveness.