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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 - Health expenditure Australia 2015–16

In 2015-16, total spending on health in Australia was $170.4 billion, $6 billion (3.6%) higher in real terms than in 2014-15. Public hospital expenditure grew by 8.4%. Due to low economic growth, the share of gross domestic product (GDP) represented by health (10.3%) continued to rise, driven mostly by higher prices.

Canada - Canada’s doctor supply has grown faster than the population for the past decade

Outpacing population growth for the tenth year in a row, the number of physicians in Canada continued trending upward in 2016. There are now more than 84,000 physicians, or 230 per 100,000 people, the highest proportion ever. Growth in the number of doctors is now almost triple that of the Canadian population.

France – Demographic factors contribute to half the increase in healthcare expenses between 2011 and 2015

Between 2011 and 2015, healthcare expenditures from all funding sources, as traced by the consumption of health care and medical goods (CSBM), grew by 8.9% in France. Half of this growth is attributed to the growth and aging of the population. Changes in the behavior of insured persons and professionals, technical advances and changes in regulations would explain the other half.

UK - Health Secretary announces nursing workforce reforms

Britain’s Health Department has announced reforms to nurse training and staff retention that include a 25% increase in training posts for nurses and improvements to working conditions. Beginning in 2018, funding will be provided for an additional 5,170 pre-registration nurse degrees. A shortened nurse degree apprenticeship route will also be introduced.

USA - A Roadmap for Promoting Health Equity and Eliminating Disparities

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has created a roadmap to reduce US health disparities through performance measurement and policy levers. Focused on cardiovascular and kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, infant mortality and mental illness, the roadmap prioritizes identifying disparities and implementing interventions, making investments in assessment measures, and providing incentives to reduce disparities.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Healthy Canada Conference 2018: Personalized Health and Wellness

This conference addresses the new reality of precision or personalized medicine and the opportunities it presents in health promotion, health system design and interventions. The Conference Board has organized the conference to discuss how Canada can become a leader in implementing a personalized approach to health and wellness. It takes place in Toronto on March 27 and 28, 2018.

UK - Health: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live

Organized by the WHO Collaborating Centre and the Department of Architecture at the University of Western England, this conference will address a broad set of interrelated concerns about health and the places we inhabit. It seeks to better understand the interconnectedness and potential solutions to the problems associated with health and the built environment, incorporating perspectives from architects, urban designers, planners, human geographers, sociologists, media specialists and more. The deadline for abstract submissions is October 30, 2017. 

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Project Management and Practitioners in the Health Sector: From the Quebec Healthcare System Perspective to PM Literature Review

Authored by Quebec researchers, this article reviews 40 years of literature (1979-2017) on project management (PM) in both the health sector internationally and Quebec’s provincial healthcare system. The article describes the importance ascribed to health sector project management but finds a lack of emphasis on PM as a lever for healthcare service improvement. Most health sector PM research is not published by mainstream PM journals.

Canada - The Case for Investing in Patient Safety in Canada

This analysis by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) determines that Canada experiences an average of 400,000 patient safety incidents each year that kill around 28,000 Canadians and generate $2.75 billion in extra healthcare costs. After describing Canada’s situation, the analysis discusses successful patient safety initiatives in the US, Scotland and Holland, and shows how increased investment would benefit patient safety in this country.

Europe - Health system performance assessment. Reporting and Communicating. Practical guide for policy makers

Published by the European Union (EU), this paper is for policymakers conducting health system performance assessments and provides practical tips and advice on ways to effectively report and communicate their findings. Four steps in the process are described: defining performance assessment goals, identifying target audiences, determining methodology, and implementing monitoring to provide evaluation and effective feedback. Examples are provided for each step.

Europe - Special Collection. Project INTEGRATE: Lessons for Policy, Management and Implementation of Integrated Care in Europe

Project INTEGRATE was a 2012-2016 research project investigating the leadership, management and delivery of integrated care in Europe. This collection provides some of the papers published by researchers involved, and focuses on work undertaken in the project’s final phases that examined factors in integrated care design, management, and policy. It includes case studies of care integration in four countries.

UK - Understanding how organisations ensure that their decision making is fair

In organizations, important decisions are often made in an environment affected by resource constraints, individual biases and time pressures. Drawing on interviews, a literature review, and the decision-making practices of three comparator sectors in the UK (healthcare, law, and security), this study provides an analysis of challenges faced by decision-makers and highlights tools, processes and methods that support fair decision-making.

UK - Leading Large Scale Change: A practical guide

Prepared by the National Health Service (NHS), this guide to leading large-scale organizational change in complex healthcare environments rounds up all the latest thinking and tools that can be used to advance operational change. It contains an eight-element strategic plan developed by the NHS, updates on other leading transformational change models, case studies, and links to online resources including presentations and videos.

International - International practice settings, interventions and outcomes of nurse practitioners in geriatric care: A scoping review

This scoping review analyzes 23 systematic reviews and 56 studies from four countries to investigate outcomes of nurse practitioner (NP) care specific to older people. Examining NP care of geriatric patients in five clinical settings (primary, home, long-term, acute and transitional care), the review finds that NPs consistently produce equivalent or better outcomes compared to usual care or physician care alone. 

International - Index of Access: A new innovative and dynamic tool for rural health service and workforce planning

This Australian study developed a tool to measure access to primary healthcare in rural areas. The Index of Access captures components of access and uses a floating catchment approach to define service areas and population accessibility levels, which enables the modelling of workforce supply variations. Increases in supply are modelled for a range of rural towns, with access scores informing subsequent health service and workforce planning decisions.