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  Subjects -> HEALTH AND SAFETY (Total: 1288 journals)
    - CIVIL DEFENSE (18 journals)
    - DRUG ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM (86 journals)
    - HEALTH AND SAFETY (520 journals)
    - HEALTH FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATION (377 journals)
    - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (105 journals)
    - PHYSICAL FITNESS AND HYGIENE (101 journals)
    - WOMEN'S HEALTH (81 journals)

HEALTH AND SAFETY (520 journals)                  1 2 3 | Last

Showing 1 - 200 of 203 Journals sorted alphabetically
16 de Abril     Open Access  
A Life in the Day     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Acta Informatica Medica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Health Sciences     Open Access  
Adultspan Journal     Hybrid Journal  
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 22)
African Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
African Journal of Health Professions Education     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Afrimedic Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
AJOB Primary Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 3)
American Journal of Family Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
American Journal of Health Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
American Journal of Health Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
American Journal of Health Promotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
American Journal of Health Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
American Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 189)
American Journal of Public Health Research     Open Access   (Followers: 28)
American Medical Writers Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità     Open Access  
Annals of Global Health     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Annals of Health Law     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Applied Biosafety     Hybrid Journal  
Applied Research In Health And Social Sciences : Interface And Interaction     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Arquivos de Ciências da Saúde     Open Access  
Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Atención Primaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australasian Journal of Paramedicine     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Australian Advanced Aesthetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Family Physician     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin     Free   (Followers: 6)
Autism & Developmental Language Impairments     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Behavioral Healthcare     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Best Practices in Mental Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Bijzijn     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Bijzijn XL     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Biomedical Safety & Standards     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
BLDE University Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access  
BMC Oral Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Brazilian Journal of Medicine and Human Health     Open Access  
Buletin Penelitian Kesehatan     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Buletin Penelitian Sistem Kesehatan     Open Access  
Bulletin of the World Health Organization     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Cadernos de Educação, Saúde e Fisioterapia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cadernos Saúde Coletiva     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Family Physician     Partially Free   (Followers: 12)
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Case Reports in Women's Health     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Case Studies in Fire Safety     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Central Asian Journal of Global Health     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Central European Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
CES Medicina     Open Access  
Child Abuse Research in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Child's Nervous System     Hybrid Journal  
Childhood Obesity and Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Children     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research     Open Access  
Christian Journal for Global Health     Open Access  
Ciência & Saúde Coletiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia y Cuidado     Open Access  
Ciencia, Tecnología y Salud     Open Access  
ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
CME     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
CoDAS     Open Access  
Community Health     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Conflict and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Curare     Open Access  
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Day Surgery Australia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Digital Health     Open Access  
Dramatherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Drogues, santé et société     Full-text available via subscription  
Duazary     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Early Childhood Research Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
East African Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
EcoHealth     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Education for Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
electronic Journal of Health Informatics     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
ElectronicHealthcare     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Elsevier Ergonomics Book Series     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Emergency Services SA     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Ensaios e Ciência: Ciências Biológicas, Agrárias e da Saúde     Open Access  
Environmental Disease     Open Access  
Environmental Sciences Europe     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Epidemics     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
Ethics, Medicine and Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Ethiopian Journal of Health Development     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Ethnicity & Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
European Medical, Health and Pharmaceutical Journal     Open Access  
Evaluation & the Health Professions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Evidence-based Medicine & Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Evidência - Ciência e Biotecnologia - Interdisciplinar     Open Access  
Expressa Extensão     Open Access  
Face à face     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Families, Systems, & Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Family & Community Health     Partially Free   (Followers: 12)
Family Medicine and Community Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Family Relations     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Fatigue : Biomedicine, Health & Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Food and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Frontiers in Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Gaceta Sanitaria     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Galen Medical Journal     Open Access  
Geospatial Health     Open Access  
Gesundheitsökonomie & Qualitätsmanagement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Giornale Italiano di Health Technology Assessment     Full-text available via subscription  
Global Health : Science and Practice     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Global Health Promotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Global Journal of Health Science     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Global Journal of Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Global Medical & Health Communication     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Globalization and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Hacia la Promoción de la Salud     Open Access  
Hastings Center Report     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
HEADline     Hybrid Journal  
Health & Place     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Health & Justice     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Health : An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Health and Human Rights     Free   (Followers: 8)
Health and Social Care Chaplaincy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Health and Social Work     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
Health Behavior and Policy Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Health Care Analysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Health Inform     Full-text available via subscription  
Health Information Management Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Health Issues     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Health Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Health Policy and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Health Professional Student Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Health Promotion International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Health Promotion Journal of Australia : Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Health Promotion Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Health Prospect     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46)
Health Psychology Research     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Health Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39)
Health Renaissance     Open Access  
Health Research Policy and Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Health SA Gesondheid     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Health Science Reports     Open Access  
Health Sciences and Disease     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Health Services Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Health Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Health Voices     Full-text available via subscription  
Health, Culture and Society     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Health, Risk & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Healthcare     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Healthcare in Low-resource Settings     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Healthcare Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
HERD : Health Environments Research & Design Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Highland Medical Research Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Hispanic Health Care International     Full-text available via subscription  
HIV & AIDS Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Home Health Care Services Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, The     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Hospitals & Health Networks     Free   (Followers: 4)
IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
IMTU Medical Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Indian Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indonesian Journal for Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Inmanencia. Revista del Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos (HIGA) Eva Perón     Open Access  
Innovative Journal of Medical and Health Sciences     Open Access  
Institute for Security Studies Papers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
interactive Journal of Medical Research     Open Access  
International Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
International Journal for Equity in Health     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
International Journal for Quality in Health Care     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
International Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Circumpolar Health     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
International Journal of Health Geographics     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
International Journal of Health Policy and Management     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Health Professions     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Health Promotion and Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)

        1 2 3 | Last

Journal Cover International Journal of Health Policy and Management
  [3 followers]  Follow
    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2322-5939
   Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences Homepage  [3 journals]
  • Ethics in HTA: Examining the “Need for Expansion”

    • Abstract: The article by Daniels and colleagues on expanding the scope of health technology assessment (HTA) to embrace ethical analysis has received endorsement and criticism from commentators in this journal. Referring to this debate, we examine in this article the extent and locus of ethical analysis in HTA processes. An expansion/no-expansion framing of HTA is, in our view, not very fruitful. We argue that meaningfulness and relevance to the needs of the population are what should determine the extent of ethics in HTA. Once ‘relevance’ is the guiding principle, engaging in ethical analysis becomes inevitable as values are all over the place in HTA, also in how assessors frame research questions. We also challenge dividing the locus of ethical analysis into assessment and appraisal as this would detach HTA from its purpose, ie, supporting legitimate decision-making. Ethical analysis should therefore be considered integral to the HTA process.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Professionalizing Healthcare Management: A Descriptive Case Study

    • Abstract: Despite international recognition of the importance of healthcare management in the development of high-performing systems, the path by which countries may develop and sustain a professional healthcare management workforce has not been articulated. Accordingly, we sought to identify a set of common themes in the establishment of a professional workforce of healthcare managers in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings using a descriptive case study approach. We draw on a historical analysis of the development of this profession in the United States and Ethiopia to identify five common themes in the professionalization of healthcare management: (1) a country context in which healthcare management is demanded; (2) a national framework that elevates a professional management role; (3) standards for healthcare management, and a monitoring function to promote adherence to standards; (4) a graduatelevel educational path to ensure a pipeline of well-prepared healthcare managers; and (5) professional associations to sustain and advance the field. These five components can to inform the creation of a long-term national strategy for the development of a professional cadre of heathcare managers in LMIC settings.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • A Process Evaluation to Assess Contextual Factors Associated With the
           Uptake of a Rapid ...

    • Abstract: Background Although proven feasible, rapid response services (RRSs) to support urgent decision and policymaking are still a fairly new and innovative strategy in several health systems, more especially in low-income countries. There are several information gaps about these RRSs that exist including the factors that make them work in different contexts and in addition what affects their uptake by potential end users.   Methods We used a case study employing process evaluation methods to determine what contextual factors affect the utilization of a RRS in Uganda. We held in-depth interviews with researchers, knowledge translation (KT) specialists and policy-makers from several research and policy-making institutions in Uganda’s health sector. We analyzed the data using thematic analysis to develop categories and themes about activities and structures under given program components that affected uptake of the service.   Results We identified several factors under three themes that have both overlapping relations and also reinforcing loops amplifying each other: Internal factors (those factors that were identified as over which the RRS had full [or almost full] control); external factors (factors over which the service had only partial influence, a second party holds part of this influence); and environmental factors (factors over which the service had no or only remote control if at all). Internal factors were the design of the service and resources available for it, while the external factors were the service’s visibility, integrity and relationships. Environmental factors were political will and health system policy and decision-making infrastructure.   Conclusion For health systems practitioners considering RRSs, knowing what factors will affect uptake and therefore modifying them within their contexts is important to ensure efficient use and successful utilization of the mechanisms.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Out-of-Pocket and Informal Payment Before and After the Health
           Transformation Plan in Iran: ...

    • Abstract: Background One of the objectives of the health transformation plan (HTP) in Iran is to reduce out-of-pocket (OOP) payments for inpatient services and eradicate informal payments. The HTP has three phases: the first phase (launched in May 5, 2014) is focused on reducing OOP payments for inpatient services; the second phase (launched in May 22, 2014) is focused on primary healthcare (PHC) and the third phase utilizes an updated relative value units for health services (launched in September 29, 2014) and is focused on the elimination of informal payments. This aim of this study was to determine the OOP payments and the frequency of informal cash payments to physicians for inpatient services before and after the HTP in Kurdistan province, Iran.   Methods This quasi-experimental study used multistage sampling method to select and evaluate 265 patients discharged from hospitals in Kurdistan province. The study covered 3 phases (before the HTP, after the first, and third phases of the HTP). Part of the data was collected using a hospital information system form and the rest were collected using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Fisher exact test, logistic regression, and independent samples ttest.   Results The mean OOP payments before the HTP and after the first and third phases, respectively, were US$59.4, US$17.6, and US$14.3 in hospital affiliated to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME), US$39.6, US$33.7, and US$13.7 in hospitals affiliated to Social Security Organization (SSO), and US$153.3, US$188.7, and US$66.4 in private hospitals. In hospitals affiliated to SSO and MoHME there was a significant difference between the mean OOP payments before the HTP and after the third phase (P < .05). The percentage of informal payments to physicians in hospitals affiliated to MoHME, SSO, and private sector, respectively, were 4.5%, 8.1%, and 12.5% before the HTP, and 0.0%, 7.1%, and 10.0% after the first phase. Contrary to the time before the HTP, no informal payment was reported after the third phase.   Conclusion It seems that the implementation of the HTP has reduced the OOP payments for inpatient services and eradicated informal payments to physician in Kurdistan province.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Ineffective Healthcare Technology Management in Benin’s Public Health
           Sector: The Perceptions ...

    • Abstract: Background Low-income countries face many contextual challenges to manage healthcare technologies effectively, as the majority are imported and resources are constrained to a greater extent. Previous healthcare technology management (HTM) policies in Benin have failed to produce better quality of care for the population and costeffectiveness for the government. This study aims to identify and assess the main problems facing HTM in Benin’s public health sector, as well as the ability of key actors within the sector to address these problems.   Methods We conducted 2 surveys in 117 selected health facilities. The first survey was based on 377 questionnaires and 259 interviews, and the second involved observation and group interviews at health facilities. The Temple-Bird Healthcare Technology Package System (TBHTPS), tailored to the context of Benin’s health system, was used as a conceptual framework.   Results The findings of the first survey show that 85% of key actors in Benin’s HTM sector characterized the system as failing in components of the TBHTPS framework. Biomedical, clinical, healthcare technology engineers and technicians perceived problems most severely, followed by users of equipment, managers and hospital directors, international organization officers, local and foreign suppliers, and finally policy-makers, planners and administrators at the Ministry of Health (MoH). The 5 most important challenges to be addressed are policy, strategic management and planning, and technology needs assessment and selection – categorized as major enabling inputs(MEI) in HTM by the TBHTPS framework – and installation and commissioning, training and skill development and procurement, which are import and use activities(IUA). The ability of each key actor to address these problems (the degree of political or administrative power they possess) was inversely proportional to their perception of the severity of the problems. Observational data gathered during site visits described a different set of challenges including maintenance and repair, distribution, installation and commissioning, use and training and personnel skill development.   Conclusion The lack of experiential and technical knowledge in policy development processes could underpin many of the continuing problems in Benin’s HTM system. Before solutions can be devised to these problems, it is necessary to investigate their root causes, and which problems are most amenable to policy development.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need to Focus Both on
           Substance and on ...

    • Abstract: In an editorial published in this journal, Baltussen et al argue that information on cost-effectiveness is not sufficient for priority setting for universal health coverage (UHC), a claim which is correct as far as it goes. However, their focus on the procedural legitimacy of ‘micro’ priority setting processes (eg, decisions concerning the reimbursement of specific interventions), and their related assumption that values for priority setting are determined only at this level, leads them to ignore the relevance of higher level, ‘macro’ priority setting processes, for example, consultations held by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States and other global stakeholders that have resulted in widespread consensus on the principles of UHC. Priority setting is not merely about discrete choices, nor should the focus be exclusively (or even mainly) on improving the procedural elements of micro priority setting processes. Systemic activities that shape the health system environment, such as strategic planning, as well as the substantive content of global policy instruments, are critical elements for priority setting for UHC.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Mistaking the Map for the Territory: What Society Does With Medicine;
           Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Van Dijk et al describe how society’s influence on medicine drives both medicalisation and overdiagnosis, and allege that a major political and ethical concern regarding our increasingly interpreting the world through a biomedical lens is that it serves to individualise and depoliticize social problems. I argue that for medicalisation to serve this purpose, it would have to exclude the possibility of also considering problems in other (social or political) terms; but to think that medical descriptions of the world seek to or are able to do this is to misunderstand the purpose and function of model construction in science in general, and medicine in particular. So, if medicalisation is nonetheless used for the depoliticization described by many critics, we must ask what society does with medicine to give it this exclusive authority. I propose that the problem arises from a tendency to mistake the map for the territory, and think a tool to understand certain aspects of the world gives us the complete picture. To resist this process, I suggest health workers should be more open about the purpose and limitations of medicalisation, and the value of alternative descriptions of different aspects of human experience.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • On the Social Construction of Overdiagnosis; Comment on
           “Medicalisation and Overdiagnosis: ...

    • Abstract: In an interesting article Wieteke van Dijk and colleagues argue that societal developments and values influence the practice of medicine, and thus can result in both medicalisation and overdiagnosis. They provide a convincing argument that overdiagnosis emerges in a social context and that it has socially constructed implications. However, they fail to show that overdiagnosis per se is socially constructed and how this construction occurs. Moreover, the authors discuss overdiagnosis on a micro level without acknowledging that overdiagnosis cannot be observed in individuals “in the doctor’s office.” We cannot tell whether a diagnosed person is overdiagnosed or not. This is the core of the problem. Despite these shortcomings, Wieteke van Dijk and her colleagues are certainly on to something important, and they should be encouraged to elaborate their perspective. We certainly need to deepen our understanding of the social construction of overdiagnosis.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Overdiagnosis: An Important Issue That Demands Rigour and Precision;
           Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Van Dijk and colleagues present three cases to illustrate and discuss the relationship between medicalisation and overdiagnosis. In this commentary, I consider each of the case studies in turn, and in doing so emphasise two main points. The first is that it is not possible to assess whether overdiagnosis is occurring based solely on incidence rates: it is necessary also to have data about the benefits and harms that are produced by diagnosis. The second is that much is at stake in discussions of overdiagnosis in particular, and that it is critical that work in this area is conceptually rigorous, well-reasoned, and empirically sound. van Dijk and colleagues remind us that overdiagnosis and medicalisation are not just matters for individual patients and their clinicians: they also concern health systems, and society and citizens more broadly.
      PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • The Potential Possibility of Symptom Checker

    • PubDate: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • False Dawns and New Horizons in Patient Safety Research and Practice

    • Abstract: In response to a weight of evidence that patients are frequently harmed as a result of their care, there have been concerted efforts to make healthcare safer, with health systems across the globe investing significant resources in policies and programmes designed to reduce adverse events. Yet, despite extensive efforts, improvements in safety have proved difficult to sustain and spread, with studies confirming there has been no measurable, systemslevel improvement in the overall rates of preventable harm. Here, we highlight the limitations of the thinking which underpins current efforts to make healthcare systems safer and point to new and emerging approaches to understanding and addressing patient safety in complex, dynamic health systems.
      PubDate: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Why Learning How to Chase Butterflies Matters: A Response to Recent
           Commentaries

    • PubDate: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Public Spending on Health Services and Policy Research in Canada: A
           Reflection on Thakkar and ...

    • Abstract: Vidhi Thakkar and Terrence Sullivan have done a careful and thought-provoking job in trying to establish comparable estimates of public spending on health services and policy research (HSPR) in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their main recommendation is a call for an international collaboration to develop common terms and categories of HSPR. This paper raises two additional questions that have an international comparative dimension: There is little doubt that public spending on HSPR represents more than the “tip of the iceberg,” but how much more' And how do the countries fare on the uptake of HSPR by decision-makers' I have long speculated that probably as much or more is spent by provincial/territorial governments, regional health authorities, hospitals and other agencies on HSPR activities carried out by consultants in Canada than by the federal, provincial/territorial granting agencies. Support for this contention is provided in a paper by Penno and Gauld on spending on external consultancies by New Zealand’s District Health Boards (DHBs). Their estimate of the amount spent on consultancies in 2014/15 represents 80% of the amount spent on research by the Health Research Council of New Zealand in 2015. In terms of the uptake of research Jonathan Lomas pioneered the concept of linking researchers with decisionmakers when he became the founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) in 1997. An early assessment was promising, and it would be interesting to know if other countries have tried this. Most assessments of research uptake and impact are short-term in nature. It might be insightful to assess HSPR developments over the long term, such as prospective reimbursement through diagnosis related groups (DRGs) that has been evolving internationally for more 40+ years. In the short term the prospects for a major infusion of funding in HSPR in Canada are not promising, although there have been welcome investments in the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (formerly CHSRF).
      PubDate: Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Challenges of a Complex and Innovative Telehealth Project: A
           Qualitative Evaluation of the ...

    • Abstract: Background The Eastern Quebec Telepathology Network (EQTN) has been implemented in the province of Quebec (Canada) to support pathology and surgery practices in hospitals that are lack of pathologists, especially in rural and remote areas. This network includes 22 hospitals and serves a population of 1.7 million inhabitants spread over a vast territory. An evaluation of this network was conducted in order to identify and analyze the factors and issues associated with its implementation and deployment, as well as those related to its sustainability and expansion.   Methods Qualitative evaluative research based on a case study using: (1) historical analysis of the project documentation (newsletters, minutes of meetings, articles, ministerial documents, etc); (2) participation in meetings of the committee in charge of telehealth programs and the project; and (3) interviews, focus groups, and discussions with different stakeholders, including decision-makers, clinical and administrative project managers, clinicians (pathologists and surgeons), and technologists. Data from all these sources were cross-checked and synthesized through an integrativeand interpretative process.   Results The evaluation revealed numerous socio-political, regulatory, organizational, governance, clinical, professional, economic, legal and technological challenges related to the emergence and implementation of the project. In addition to technical considerations, the development of this network was associated with major changes and transformations of production procedures, delivery and organization of services, clinical practices, working methods, and clinicaladministrative processes and cultures (professional/organizational).   Conclusion The EQTN reflects the complex, structuring, and innovative projects that organizations and health systems are required to implement today. Future works should be more sensitive to the complexity associated with the emergence of telehealth networks and no longer reduce them to technological considerations.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Reaching Outside the Comfort Zone: Realising the FCTC’s Potential
           for Public Health ...

    • Abstract: In their paper, Nikogosian and Kickbusch show how the effects of the adoption by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its first Protocol extend beyond tobacco control and contribute to public health governance more broadly, by revealing new processes, institutions and instruments. While there are certainly good reasons to be optimistic about the impact of these instruments in the public health sphere, the experience of the FCTC’s implementation in the context of the European Union (EU) shows that further efforts are still necessary for its full potential to be realised. Indeed, one of the main hurdles to the FCTC’s success so far has been the difficulty in developing and maintaining comprehensive multisectoral measures and involving sectors beyond the sphere of public health.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • What Factors Do Allied Health Take Into Account When Making Resource
           Allocation Decisions'

    • Abstract: Background Allied health comprises multiple professional groups including dietetics, medical radiation practitioners, occupational therapists, optometrists and psychologists. Different to medical and nursing, Allied health are often organized in discipline specific departments and allocate budgets within these to provide services to a range of clinical areas. Little is known of how managers of allied health go about allocating these resources, the factors they consider when making these decisions, and the sources of information they rely upon. The purpose of this study was to identify the key factors that allied health consider when making resource allocation decisions and the sources of information they are based upon.   Methods Four forums were conducted each consisting of case studies, a large group discussion and two hypothetical scenarios to elicit data. A thematic content analysis commenced during post-forum discussions of key factors by forum facilitators. These factors were then presented to an expert working party for further discussion and refinement. Transcripts were generated of all data recordings and a detailed thematic analysis was undertaken by one author to ensure coded data matched the initial thematic analysis.   Results Twelve factors affecting the decision-making of allied health managers and clinicians were identified. One of these factors was disendorsed by the expert working party. The 11 remaining factors can be considered to be key decision-making principles that should be consistently applied to resource allocation. These principles were clustered into three overarching themes of readiness, impact and appropriateness.   Conclusion Understanding these principles now means further research can be completed to more effectively integrate research evidence into health policy and service delivery, create partnerships among policy-makers, managers, service providers and researchers, and to provide support to answer difficult questions that policy-makers, managers and service providers face.
      PubDate: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Knowledge Translation in Healthcare – Towards Understanding its True
           Complexities; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: This commentary argues that to fully appreciate the complexities of knowledge transfer one firstly has to distinguish between the notions of “data, information, knowledge and wisdom,” and that the latter two are highly context sensitive. In particular one has to understand knowledge as being personal rather than objective, and hence there is no form of knowledge that a-priori is more authoritative than another. Secondly, knowledge transfer in organisations can only be successful if the organisation is organised and managed as a “complex adaptive organisation” – its key characteristics arising from it’s a-priori defined common “purpose, goals and values.” Knowledge transfer, seen as “whole of system/organisation learning,” is highly context sensitive; while the principles may apply to many organisations, knowledge as such is not transferable from one context to another, it always will be a unique learning exercise at this particular point in time in this particular organisation.
      PubDate: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Additional Insights Into Problem Definition and Positioning From Social
           Science; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Commenting on a recent editorial in this journal which presented four challenges global health networks will have to tackle to be effective, this essay discusses why this type of analysis is important for global health scholars and practitioners, and why it is worth understanding and critically engaging with the complexities behind these challenges. Focusing on the topics of problem definition and positioning, I outline additional insights from social science theory to demonstrate how networks and network researchers can evaluate these processes, and how these processes contribute to better organizing, advocacy, and public health outcomes. This essay also raises multiple questions regarding these processes for future research.
      PubDate: Sat, 09 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Tackling HIV in MENA: Talk Is Not Enough–It Is Time for Bold
           Actions: A Response to Recent ...

    • PubDate: Sat, 09 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • How Political Science Can Contribute to Public Health: A Response to
           Gagnon and Colleagues

    • PubDate: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Response to and Impact of the Ebola Epidemic: Towards an Agenda for
           Interdisciplinary Research

    • Abstract: BackgroundThe 2013-2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa was the largest in history and resulted in a huge public health burden and significant social and economic impact in those countries most affected. Its size, duration and geographical spread presents important opportunities for research than might help national and global health and social care systems to better prepare for and respond to future outbreaks. This paper examines research needs and research priorities from the perspective of those who directly experienced the EVD epidemic in Guinea. MethodsThe paper reports the findings from a research scoping exercise conducted in Guinea in 2017. This exercise explored the need for health and social care research, and identified research gaps, from the perspectives of different groups. Interviews were carried out with key stakeholders such as representatives of the Ministry of Health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic and health service researchers and members of research ethics committees (N = 15); health practitioners (N = 12) and community representatives (N = 11). Discussion groups were conducted with male and female EVD survivors (N = 24) from two distinct communities.  ResultsThis research scoping exercise identified seven key questions for further research. An important research priority that emerged during this study was the need to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the wider social, economic and political impact of the epidemic on the country, communities and survivors. The social and cultural dynamics of the epidemic and the local, national and international response to it need to be better understood. Many survivors and their relatives continue to experience stigma and social isolation and have a number of complex unmet needs. It is important to understand what sort of support they need, and how that might best be provided. A better understanding of the virus and the long-term health and social implications for survivors and non-infected survivors is also needed.  ConclusionThis study identified a need and priority for interdisciplinary research focusing on the long-term sociocultural, economic and health impact of the EVD epidemic. Experiences of survivors and other non-infected members of the community still need to be explored but in this broader context.
      PubDate: Sat, 02 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Unit Costing of Health Extension Worker Activities in Ethiopia: A Model
           for Managers at the ...

    • Abstract: Background Over the last decade, Ethiopia has made impressive national improvements in health outcomes, including reductions in maternal, neonatal, infant, and child mortality attributed in large part to their Health Extension Program (HEP). As this program continues to evolve and improve, understanding the unit cost of health extension worker (HEW) services is fundamental to planning for future growth and ensuring adequate financial support to deliver effective primary care throughout the country.   Methods We sought to examine and report the data needed to generate a HEW fee schedule that would allow for full cost recovery for HEW services. Using HEW activity data and estimates from national studies and local systems we were able to estimate salary costs and the average time spent by an HEW per patient/community encounter for each type of services associated with specific users. Using this information, we created separate fee schedules for activities in urban and rural settings with two estimates of non-salary multipliers to calculate the total cost for HEW services.   Results In the urban areas, the HEW fees for full cost recovery of the provision of services (including salary, supplies, and overhead costs) ranged from 55.1 birr to 209.1 birr per encounter. The rural HEW fees ranged from 19.6 birr to 219.4 birr.   Conclusion Efforts to support health system strengthening in low-income settings have often neglected to generate adequate, actionable data on the costs of primary care services. In this study, we have combined time-motion and available financial data to generate a fee schedule that allows for full cost recovery of the provision of services through billable health education and service encounters provided by Ethiopian HEWs. This may be useful in other country settings where managers seek to make evidence-informed planning and resource allocation decisions to address high burden of disease within the context of weak administrative data systems and severe financial constraints.
      PubDate: Fri, 01 Sep 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Improving the Distribution of Rural Health Houses Using Elicitation and
           GIS in Khuzestan ...

    • Abstract: Background Rural health houses constitute a major provider of some primary health services in the villages of Iran. Given the challenges of providing health services in rural areas, health houses should be established based on the criteria of health network systems (HNSs). The value of these criteria and their precedence over others have not yet been thoroughly investigated. The present study was conducted to propose a model for improving the distribution of rural health houses in HNSs.   Methods The present applied study was conducted in Khuzestan province in the southwest of Iran in 2014-2016. First, the descriptive and spatial data required were collected and entered into ArcGIS after modifications, and the Geodatabase was then created. Based on the criteria of the HNS and according to experts’ opinions, the main criteria and the sub-criteria for an optimal site selection were determined. To determine the criteria’s coefficient of importance (ie, their weight), the main criteria and the sub-criteria were compared in pairs according to experts’ opinions. The results of the pairwise comparisons were entered into Expert Choice and the weight of the main criteria and the sub-criteria were determined using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The application layers were then formed in geographic information system (GIS). A model was ultimately proposed in the GIS for the optimal distribution of rural health houses by overlaying the weighting layers and the other layers related to villages and rural health houses.   Results Based on the experts’ opinions, six criteria were determined as the main criteria for an optimal site selection for rural health houses, including welfare infrastructures, population, dispersion, accessibility, corresponding routes, distance to the rural health center and the absence of natural barriers to accessibility. Of the main criteria proposed, the highest weight was given to “population” (0.506). The priorities suggested in the proposed model for establishing rural health houses are presented within five zoning levels –from excellent to very poor.   Conclusion The results of the study showed that the proposed model can help provide a better picture of the distribution of rural health houses. The GIS is recommended to be used as a means of making the HNS more efficient.
      PubDate: Sat, 26 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Assessing and Improving Performance: A Longitudinal Evaluation of Priority
           Setting and Resource ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundIn order to meet the challenges presented by increasing demand and scarcity of resources, healthcare organizations are faced with difficult decisions related to resource allocation. Tools to facilitate evaluation and improvement of these processes could enable greater transparency and more optimal distribution of resources. MethodsThe Resource Allocation Performance Assessment Tool (RAPAT) was implemented in a healthcare organization in British Columbia, Canada. Recommendations for improvement were delivered, and a follow up evaluation exercise was conducted to assess the trajectory of the organization’s priority setting and resource allocation (PSRA) process 2 years post the original evaluation. ResultsImplementation of RAPAT in the pilot organization identified strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s PSRA process at the time of the original evaluation. Strengths included the use of criteria and evidence, an ability to re-allocate resources, and the involvement of frontline staff in the process. Weaknesses included training, communication, and lack of program budgeting. Although the follow up revealed a regression from a more formal PSRA process, a legacy of explicit resource allocation was reported to be providing ongoing benefit for the organization.  ConclusionWhile past studies have taken a cross-sectional approach, this paper introduces the first longitudinal evaluation of PSRA in a healthcare organization. By including the strengths, weaknesses, and evolution of one organization’s journey, the authors’ intend that this paper will assist other healthcare leaders in meeting the challenges of allocating scarce resources.
      PubDate: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Competing Logics and Healthcare; Comment on “(Re) Making the Procrustean
           Bed' Standardization ...

    • Abstract: This paper offers a short commentary on the editorial by Mannion and Exworthy. The paper highlights the positive insights offered by their analysis into the tensions between the competing institutional logics of standardization and customization in healthcare, in part manifested in the conflict between managers and professionals, and endorses the plea of the authors for further research in this field. However, the editorial is criticized for its lack of a strong societal reference point, the comparative absence of focus on hybridization, and its failure to highlight structural factors impinging on the opposing logics in a broader neo-institutional framework. With reference to the Procrustean metaphor, it is argued that greater stress should be placed on the healthcare user in future health policy. Finally, the case of complementary and alternative medicine is set out which – while not explicitly mentioned in the editorial – most effectively concretizes the tensions at the heart of this analysis of healthcare.
      PubDate: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Best of Both Worlds; Comment on “(Re) Making the Procrustean
           Bed' Standardization and ...

    • Abstract: This article builds on Mannion and Exworthy’s account of the tensions between standardization and customization within health services to explore why these tensions exist. It highlights the limitations of explanations which root them in an expression of managerialism versus professionalism and suggests that each logic is embedded in a set of ontological, epistemological and moral commitments which are held in tension. At the front line of care delivery, people cannot resolve these tensions but must navigate and negotiate them. The legitimacy of a health system depends on its ability to deliver the ‘best of both worlds’ to citizens, offering the reassurance of sameness and the dignity of difference.
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Empirical Study of Nova Scotia Nurses’ Adoption of Healthcare
           Information Systems: ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundThis paper used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), which was extended, to investigate nurses’ adoption of healthcare information systems (HIS) in Nova Scotia, Canada. MethodsData was collected from 197 nurses in a survey and data analysis was carried out using the partial least squares (PLS) technique. ResultsIn contrast to findings in prior studies that used TPB to investigate clinicians’ adoption of technologies in Canada and elsewhere, this study found no statistical significance for the relationships between attitude and subjective norm in relation to nurses’ intention to use HIS. Rather, facilitating organizational conditions was the only TPB variable that explained sampled nurses’ intention to use HIS at work. In particular, effects of computer habit and computer anxiety among older nurses were signified. ConclusionTo encourage nurses’ adoption of HIS, healthcare administrators need to pay attention to facilitating organization conditions at work. Enhancing computer knowledge or competence is important for acceptance. Information presented in the study can be used by administrators of healthcare facilities in the research location and comparable parts of the world to further improve HIS adoption among nurses. The management of nursing professionals, especially in certain contexts (eg, prevalence of older nursing professionals), can make use of this study’s insights.
      PubDate: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Making Research Matter; Comment on “Public Spending on Health Service
           and Policy Research in ...

    • Abstract: We offer a UK-based commentary on the recent “Perspective” published in IJHPM by Thakkar and Sullivan. We are sympathetic to the authors’ call for increased funding for health service and policy research (HSPR). However, we point out that increasing that investment – in any of the three countries they compare: Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom– will ipso facto not necessarily lead to any better use of research by health system decision-makers in these settings. We cite previous authors’ descriptions of the many factors that tend to make the worlds of researchers and decision-makers into “two solitudes.” And we call for changes in the structure and funding of HSPR, particularly the incentives now in place for purely academic publishing, to tackle a widespread reality: most published research in HSPR, as in other applied fields of science, is never read or used by the vast majority of decision-makers, working out in the “real world.”
      PubDate: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Measuring Hospital Performance Using Mortality Rates: An Alternative to
           the RAMR

    • Abstract: BackgroundThe risk-adjusted mortality rate (RAMR) is used widely by healthcare agencies to evaluate hospital performance. The RAMR is insensitive to case volume and requires a confidence interval for proper interpretation, which results in a hypothesis testing framework. Unfamiliarity with hypothesis testing can lead to erroneous interpretations by the public and other stakeholders. We argue that screening, rather than hypothesis testing, is more defensible. We propose an alternative to the RAMR that is based on sound statistical methodology, easier to understand and can be used in large-scale screening with no additional data requirements. MethodsWe use an upper-tail probability to screen for hospitals performing poorly and a lower-tail probability to screen for hospitals performing well. Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests are not needed to compute or interpret our measures. Moreover, unlike the RAMR, our measures are sensitive to the number of cases treated. ResultsTo demonstrate our proposed methodology, we obtained data from the New York State Department of Health for 10 Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) for the years 2009-2013. We find strong agreement between the upper tail probability (UTP) and the RAMR, supporting our contention that the UTP is a viable alternative to the RAMR. ConclusionWe show that our method is simpler to implement than the RAMR and, with no need for a confidence interval, it is easier to interpret. Moreover, it will be available for all hospitals and all diseases/conditions regardless of patient volume
      PubDate: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Providers and Patients Caught Between Standardization and
           Individualization: Individualized ...

    • Abstract: In their 2017 article, Mannion and Exworthy provide a thoughtful and theory-based analysis of two parallel trends in modern healthcare systems and their competing and conflicting logics: standardization and customization. This commentary further discusses the challenge of treatment decision-making in times of evidence-based medicine (EBM), shared decision-making and personalized medicine. From the perspective of systems theory, we propose the concept of individualized standardization as a solution to the problem. According to this concept, standardization is conceptualized as a guiding framework leaving room for individualization in the patient physician interaction. The theoretical background is the concept of context management according to systems theory. Moreover, the comment suggests multidisciplinary teams as a possible solution for the integration of standardization and individualization, using the example of multidisciplinary tumor conferences and highlighting its limitations. The comment also supports the authors’ statement of the patient as co-producer and introduces the idea that the competing logics of standardization and individualization are a matter of perspective on macro, meso and micro levels.
      PubDate: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Challenges Facing Global Health Networks: The NCD Alliance Experience;
           Comment on “Four ...

    • Abstract: Successful prevention and control of the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) cannot be achieved by the health sector alone: a wide range of organisations from multiple sectors and across government must also be involved. This requires a new, inclusive approach to advocacy and to coordinating, convening and catalysing action across civil society, best achieved by a broad-based network. This comment maps the experience of the NCD Alliance (NCDA) on to Shiffman’s challenges for global health networks – framing (problem definition and positioning), coalition-building and governance – and highlights some further areas overlooked in his analysis.
      PubDate: Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Health Services Research Spending and Healthcare System Impact; Comment on
           “Public Spending ...

    • Abstract: The challenges associated with translating health services and policy research (HSPR) evidence into practice are many and long-standing. Indeed, those challenges have themselves spawned new areas of research, including knowledge translation and implementation science. These sub-disciplines have increased our understanding of the critical success factors associated with the uptake of research evidence into (system) practice. Engaging those for whom research evidence is likely to help solve implementation and/or policy problems, and ensuring that they are key partners throughout the research life-cycle, appear to us (based on current evidence) to be the most direct and effective paths to improved knowledge translation. In that regard, building on Canada’s recent Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) would seem to offer considerable promise. The “modest” proposals offered by Thakkar and Sullivan seem less likely to bear fruit.
      PubDate: Sat, 05 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Unequal Gain of Equal Resources across Racial Groups

    • Abstract: The health effects of economic resources (eg, education, employment, and living place) and psychological assets (eg, self-efficacy, perceived control over life, anger control, and emotions) are well-known. This article summarizes the results of a growing body of evidence documenting Blacks’ diminished return, defined as a systematically smaller health gain from economic resources and psychological assets for Blacks in comparison to Whites. Due to structural barriers that Blacks face in their daily lives, the very same resources and assets generate smaller health gain for Blacks compared to Whites. Even in the presence of equal access to resources and assets, such unequal health gain constantly generates a racial health gap between Blacks and Whites in the United States. In this paper, a number of public policies are recommended based on these findings. First and foremost, public policies should not merely focus on equalizing access to resources and assets, but also reduce the societal and structural barriers that hinder Blacks. Policy solutions should aim to reduce various manifestations of structural racism including but not limited to differential pay, residential segregation, lower quality of education, and crime in Black and urban communities. As income was not found to follow the same pattern demonstrated for other resources and assets (ie, income generated similar decline in risk of mortality for Whites and Blacks), policies that enforce equal income and increase minimum wage for marginalized populations are essential. Improving quality of education of youth and employability of young adults will enable Blacks to compete for high paying jobs. Policies that reduce racism and discrimination in the labor market are also needed. Without such policies, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate the sustained racial health gap in the United States.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Recent Iranian Health System Reform: An Operational Perspective to Improve
           Health Services Quality

    • Abstract: The operational management of healthcare services is expected to directly touch patient experiences. Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME) for the first time, as such, has sought to improve the operational management of healthcare delivery within a reform agenda by setting benchmarks for ‘number of visit per hour’ and waiting time in outpatient clinics of about 700 affiliated hospitals. As a new initiative, it has faced with mixed reactions and various doubts have been cast on its successful implementation. This manuscript aims to shed some light on the operational challenges of the initiative and the requirements of its successful implementation.
      PubDate: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Health Priorities in French-Speaking Swiss Cantons

    • Abstract: In Switzerland, the federal authorities, the cantons, and the communes share the responsibility of healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion policies. Yet, the cantons are in most health matters independent in their decisions, thus defining as a matter of fact their own health priorities. We examined and analysed the content of the disease prevention and health promotion plans elaborated during the last decade in six French-speaking cantons with different political contexts and resources, but quite similar population health data, in order to identify the set health priorities.The plans appear significantly inhomogeneous in their structure, scope and priorities. Most of the formal documents are short, in the 16 to 40 pages range. Core values such as equity, solidarity and sustainability are explicitly put forward in 2/6 cantonal plans. Priority health issues shared by all 6 cantons are “physical activity/sedentariness” and “nutrition/food.” Mental health is explicitly mentioned in 5 cantonal plans, whereas tobacco and alcohol consumptions are mentioned 4 times. Less attention has been given to topics that appear as major public health challenges at present and in the future in Switzerland, eg, ageing of the population, rise of social inequalities, increase of vulnerable populations. Little attention has also been paid to issues like domestic violence or healthy work environments.Despite some heterogeneity, there is a common base that should make inter-cantonal collaborations possible and coordination with national strategies easily feasible.
      PubDate: Sun, 30 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • An Analysis of the Extent of Social Inclusion and Equity Consideration in
           Malawi’s National ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundEquity and social inclusion for vulnerable groups in policy development processes and resulting documents remain a challenge globally. Most often, the marginalization of vulnerable groups is overlooked in both the planning and practice of health service delivery. Such marginalization may occur because authorities deem the targeting of those who already have better access to healthcare a cheaper and easier way to achieve short-term health gains. The Government of Malawi wishes to achieve an equitable and inclusive HIV and AIDS Policy. The aim of this study is to assess the extent to which the Malawi Policy review process addressed regional and international health priorities of equity and social inclusion for vulnerable groups in the policy content and policy revision process.  MethodsThis research design comprised two phases. First, the content of the Malawi HIV and AIDS Policy was assessed using EquiFrame regarding its coverage of 21 Core Concepts of human rights and inclusion of 12 Vulnerable Groups. Second, the engagement of vulnerable groups in the policy process was assessed using the EquIPP matrix. For the latter, 10 interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of representatives of public sector, civil society organizations and development partners who participated in the policy revision process. Data was also collected from documented information of the policy processes.  ResultsOur analyses indicated that the Malawi HIV and AIDS Policy had a relatively high coverage of Core Concepts of human rights and Vulnerable Groups; although with some notable omissions. The analyses also found that reasonable steps were taken to engage and promote participation of vulnerable groups in the planning, development,implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes of the HIV and AIDS Policy, although again, with some notable exceptions. This is the first study to use both EquiFrame and EquIPP as complimentary tools to assess the content and process of policy. ConclusionWhile the findings indicate inclusive processes, commitment to Core Concepts of human rights and inclusion of Vulnerable Groups in relation to the Malawi HIV and AIDS Policy, the results also point to areas in which social inclusion and equity could be further strengthened.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • State Support: A Prerequisite for Global Health Network Effectiveness;
           Comment on “Four ...

    • Abstract: Shiffman recently summarized lessons for network effectiveness from an impressive collection of case-studies. However, in common with most global health governance analysis in recent years, Shiffman underplays the important role of states in these global networks. As the body which decides and signs international agreements, often provides the resourcing, and is responsible for implementing initiatives all contributing to the prioritization of certain issues over others, state recognition and support is a prerequisite to enabling and determining global health networks’ success. The role of states deserves greater attention, analysis and consideration. We reflect upon the underappreciated role of the state within the current discourse on global health. We present the tobacco case study to illustrate the decisive role of states in determining progress for global health networks, and highlight how states use a legitimacy loop to gain legitimacy from and provide legitimacy to global health networks. Moving forward in assessing global health networks’ effectiveness, further investigating state support as a determinant of success will be critical. Understanding how global health networks and states interact and evolve to shape and support their respective interests should be a focus for future research.
      PubDate: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes – Early Dialogue, Broad
           Focus and Relevance: A ...

    • PubDate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Comparing the Income Elasticity of Health Spending in Middle-Income and
           High-Income Countries: ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundAs middle-income countries become more affluent, economically sophisticated and productive, health expenditure patterns are likely to change. Other socio-demographic and political changes that accompany rapid economic growth are also likely to influence health spending and financial protection. MethodsThis study investigates the relationship between growth on per-capita healthcare expenditure and gross domestic product (GDP) in a group of 27 large middle-income economies and compares findings with those of 24 high-income economies from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) group. This comparison uses national accounts data from 1995-2014. We hypothesize that the aggregated income elasticity of health expenditure in middle-income countries would be less than one (meaning healthcare is a normal good). An initial exploratory analysis tests between fixed-effects and random-effects model specifications. A fixed-effects model with time-fixed effects is implemented to assess the relationship between the two measures. Unit root, Hausman and serial correlation tests are conducted to determine model fit. Additional explanatory variables are introduced in different model specifications to test the robustness of our regression results. We include the out-of-pocket (OOP) share of health spending in each model to study the potential role of financial protection in our sample of high- and middle-income countries. The first-difference of study variables is implemented to address non-stationarity and cointegration properties. ResultsThe elasticity of per-capita health expenditure and GDP growth is positive and statistically significant among sampled middle-income countries (51 per unit-growth in GDP) and high-income countries (50 per unit-growth in GDP). In contrast with previous research that has found that income elasticity of health spending in middle-income countries is larger than in high-income countries, our findings show that elasticity estimates can change if different criteria are used to assemble a more homogenous group of middle-income countries. Financial protection differences between middle- and high-income countries, however, are not associated with their respective income elasticity of health spending. ` ConclusionThe study findings show that in spite of the rapid economic growth experienced by the sampled middleincome countries, the aggregated income elasticity of health expenditure in them is less than one, and equals that of high-income countries.
      PubDate: Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • A Critical Analysis of Purchasing Arrangements in Kenya: The Case of the
           National Hospital ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundPurchasing refers to the process by which pooled funds are paid to providers in order to deliver a set of health care interventions. Very little is known about purchasing arrangements in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and certainly not in Kenya. This study aimed to critically analyse purchasing arrangements in Kenya, using the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as a case study. MethodsWe applied a principal-agent relationship framework, which identifies three pairs of principal-agent relationships (government-purchaser, purchaser-provider, and citizen-purchaser) and specific actions required within them to achieve strategic purchasing. A qualitative case study approach was applied. Data were collected through document reviews (statutes, policy and regulatory documents) and in-depth interviews (n = 62) with key informants including NHIF officials, Ministry of Health (MoH) officials, insurance industry actors, and health service providers. Documents were summarised using standardised forms. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using a thematic framework approach. ResultsThe regulatory and policy framework for strategic purchasing in Kenya was weak and there was no clear accountability mechanism between the NHIF and the MoH. Accountability mechanisms within the NHIF have developed over time, but these emphasized financial performance over other aspects of purchasing. The processes for contracting, monitoring, and paying providers do not promote equity, quality, and efficiency. This was partly due to geographical distribution of providers, but also due to limited capacity within the NHIF. There are some mechanisms for assessing needs, preferences, and values to inform design of the benefit package, and while channels to engage beneficiaries exist, they do not always function appropriately and awareness of these channels to the beneficiaries is limited.  ConclusionAddressing the gaps in the NHIF’s purchasing performance requires a number of approaches. Critically, there is a need for the government through the MoH to embrace its stewardship role in health, while recognizing the multiplicity of actors given Kenya’s devolved context. Relatively recent decentralisation reforms present an opportunity that should be grasped to rewrite the contract between the government, the NHIF and Kenyans in the pursuit of universal health coverage (UHC).
      PubDate: Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Should Priority Setting Also Be Concerned About Profound Socio-Economic
           Transformations' A ...

    • PubDate: Sun, 16 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Adopting New International Health Instruments – What Can We Learn From
           the FCTC'; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: This Commentary forms a response to Nikogosian’s and Kickbusch’s forward-looking perspective about the legal strength of international health instruments. Building on their arguments, in this commentary we consider what we can learn from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for the adoption of new legal international health instruments.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Populism, Exclusion, Post-truth. Some Conceptual Caveats; Comment on
           “The Rise of Post-truth ...

    • Abstract: In their editorial, Speed and Mannion identify two main challenges “the rise of post-truth populism” poses for health policy: the populist threat to inclusive healthcare policies, and the populist threat to well-designed health policies that draw on professional expertise and research evidence. This short comment suggests some conceptual clarifications that might help in thinking through more profoundly these two important issues. It argues that we should approach right-wing populism as a combination of a populist down/up (people/elite) axis with an exclusionary nationalist in/out (member/non-member) axis. And it raises some questions regarding the equation between populism, demagogy and the rejection of expertise and scientific knowledge.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Toward Customized Care; Comment on “(Re) Making the Procrustean Bed'
           Standardization and ...

    • Abstract: Patients want their personal needs to be taken into account. Accordingly, the management of care has long involved some degree of personalization. In recent times, patients’ wishes have become more pressing in a moving context. As the population ages, the number of patients requiring sophisticated combinations of longterm care is rising. Moreover, we are witnessing previously unvoiced demands, preferences and expectations (eg, demand for information about treatment, for care complying with religious practices, or for choice of appointment dates). In view of the escalating costs and the concerns about quality of care, the time has now come to rethink healthcare delivery. Part of this reorganization can be related to customization: what is needed is a customized business model that is effective and sustainable. Such business model exists in different service sectors, the customization being defined as the development of tailored services to meet consumers’ diverse and changing needs at near mass production prices. Therefore, its application to the healthcare sector needs to be seriously considered.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Far Right Challenge; Comment on “The Rise of Post-truth Populism
           in Pluralist Liberal ...

    • Abstract: Speed and Mannion make a good case that the rise of populism poses significant challenges for health policy. This commentary suggests that the link between populism and health policy should be further nuanced in four ways. First, a deconstruction of the term populism itself and a focus on the far right dimension of populist politics; second, a focus on the supply side and more specifically the question of nationalism and the ‘national preference’; third, the dynamics of party competition during economic crisis; and fourth the question of policy, and more specifically the extent to which certain labour market policies are able to mediate demand for the far right.
      PubDate: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Using Complexity and Network Concepts to Inform Healthcare Knowledge
           Translation

    • Abstract: Many representations of the movement of healthcare knowledge through society exist, and multiple models for the translation of evidence into policy and practice have been articulated. Most are linear or cyclical and very few come close to reflecting the dense and intricate relationships, systems and politics of organizations and the processes required to enact sustainable improvements. We illustrate how using complexity and network concepts can better inform knowledge translation (KT) and argue that changing the way we think and talk about KT could enhance the creation and movement of knowledge throughout those systems needing to develop and utilise it. From our theoretical refinement, we propose that KT is a complex network composed of five interdependent sub-networks, or clusters, of key processes (problem identification [PI], knowledge creation [KC], knowledge synthesis [KS], implementation [I], and evaluation [E]) that interact dynamically in different ways at different times across one or more sectors (community; health; government; education; research for example). We call this the KT Complexity Network, defined as a network that optimises the effective, appropriate and timely creation and movement of knowledge to those who need it in order to improve what they do. Activation within and throughout any one of these processes and systems depends upon the agents promoting the change, successfully working across and between multiple systems and clusters. The case is presented for moving to a way of thinking about KT using complexity and network concepts. This extends the thinking that is developing around integrated KT approaches. There are a number of policy and practice implications that need to be considered in light of this shift in thinking.
      PubDate: Sun, 09 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Prevalence of HAV Ab, HEV (IgG), HSV2 IgG, and Syphilis Among Sheltered
           Homeless Adults in ...

    • Abstract: Background This study investigated the prevalence for hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis E virus (HEV), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2) and syphilis among homeless in the city of Tehran.   Methods In this cross-sectional study, 596 homeless were recruited in Tehran. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to study demographic data. Using enzyme-linked immunoassay, and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test, we evaluated the seroprevalence of HAV anti-body, HEV IgG, herpes, HSV2 IgG, and syphilis among sheltered homeless in Tehran. The associations between the participant’s characteristics and infections were evaluated using logistic regression and chi-square.   Results A total of 569 homeless, 78 women (13.7%) and 491 men (86.3%) were enrolled into the study from June to August 2012. Their age mean was 42 years and meantime of being homeless was 24 months. Seroprevalence of syphilis, HEV IgG, HSV2 IgG and HAV Ab was 0.55%, 24.37%, 16.48%, and 94.34%, respectively. History of drug abuse was reported in 77.70%; 46.01% of them were using a drug during the study and 26.87% of them had history of intravenous drug abuse. Among people who had intravenous drug abuse, 48.25% had history of syringe sharing.   Conclusion The prevalence of HAV, HEV and HSV2 were higher than the general population while low prevalence of syphilis was seen among homeless peoples who are at high risk of sexually transmitted infection (STD). Our findings highlighted that significant healthcare needs of sheltered homeless people in Tehran are unmet and much more attention needs to be paid for the health of homeless people.
      PubDate: Fri, 07 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The WHO Tobacco Convention: A New Dawn in the Implementation of
           International Health ...

    • Abstract: The Tobacco Convention was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003. Nikogosian and Kickbusch examine the five potential impacts of the Tobacco Convention and its Protocol on public health. These include the adoption of the Convention would seem to unlock the treaty-making powers of WHO; the impact of the Convention in the global health architecture has been phenomenal globally; the Convention has facilitated the adoption of further instruments to strengthen its implementation at the national level; the Convention has led to the adoption of appropriate legal framework to combat the use of tobacco at the national level and that the impact of the Convention would seem to go beyond public health but has also led to the adoption of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco. However, the article by Nikogosian and Kickbusch would seem to overlook some of the challenges that may militate against the effective implementation of international law, including the Tobacco Convention, at the national level.
      PubDate: Tue, 04 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Magic Pudding; Comment on “Four Challenges That Global Health
           Networks Face”

    • Abstract: This commentary reflects on the contribution of this editorial and its “Three Challenges That Global Health Networks Face” to the totality of the framework developed over the past decade by Shiffman and his collaborators. It reviews the earlier works to demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts in providing a package of tools for analysis of network effectiveness. Additionally the assertion is made that the framework can be utilised in reverse to form a map for action planning for network activity around a potential health policy issue
      PubDate: Tue, 04 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Informal Patient Payments and Bought and Brought Goods in the Western
           Balkans – A Scoping Review

    • Abstract: IntroductionInformal patient payments for healthcare are common in the Western Balkans, negatively affecting public health and healthcare. AimTo identify literature from the Western Balkans on what is known about informal patient payments and bought and brought goods, to examine their effects on healthcare and to determine what actions can be taken to tackle these payments. MethodsAfter conducting a scoping review that involved searching websites and databases and filtering with eligibility criteria and quality assessment tools, 24 relevant studies were revealed. The data were synthesized using a narrative approach that identified key concepts, types of evidence, and research gaps. ResultsThe number of studies of informal patient payments increased between 2002 and 2015, but evidence regarding the issues of concern is scattered across various countries. Research has reported incidents of informal patient payments on a wide scale and has described various patterns and characteristics of these payments. Although these payments have typically been small – particularly to providers in common areas of specialized medicine – evidence regarding bought and brought goods remains limited, indicating that such practices are likely even more common, of greater magnitude and perhaps more problematic than informal patient payments. Only scant research has examined the measures that are used to tackle informal patient payments. The evidence indicates that legalizing informal patient payments, introducing performance-based payment systems, strengthening reporting, changing mentalities and involving the media and the European Union (EU) or religious organizations in anti-corruption campaigns are understood as some of the possible remedies that might help reduce informal patient payments. ConclusionDespite comprehensive evidence regarding informal patient payments, data remain scattered and contradictory, implying that informal patient payments are a complex phenomenon. Additionally, the data on bought and brought goods illustrate that not much is known about this matter. Although informal patient payments have been studied and described in several settings, there is still little research on the effectiveness of such strategies in the Western Balkans context.
      PubDate: Sun, 02 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Conceptualization of Value in the Value Proposition of New Health
           Technologies; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Lehoux et al provide a highly valid contribution in conceptualizing value in propositions in value propositions for new health technologies and developing an analytic framework that illustrates the interplay between health innovation supply-side logic (the logic of emergence) and demand-side logic (embedding in the healthcare system). This commentary brings forth several considerations on this article. First, a detailed stakeholder analysis provides the necessary premonition of potential hurdles in the development, implementation and dissemination of a new technology. This can be achieved by categorizing potential stakeholder groups on the basis of the potential impact of future technology. Secondly, the conceptualization of value in value propositions of new technologies should not only embrace business/economic and clinical values but also ethical, professional and cultural values, as well as factoring in the notion of usability and acceptance of new technology. As a final note, the commentary emphasises the point that technology should facilitate delivery of care without negatively affecting doctor-patient communications, physical examination skills, and development of clinical knowledge.
      PubDate: Sun, 02 Jul 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • It Takes Two to Tango: Customization and Standardization as Colluding
           Logics in Healthcare; ...

    • Abstract: The healthcare context is characterized with new developments, technologies, ideas and expectations that are continually reshaping the frontline of care delivery. Mannion and Exworthy identify two key factors driving this complexity, ‘standardization’ and ‘customization,’ and their apparent resulting paradox to be negotiated by healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers. However, while they present a compelling argument an alternative viewpoint exists. An analysis is presented that shows instead of being ‘competing’ logics in healthcare, standardization and customization are long standing ‘colluding’ logics. Mannion and Exworthy’s call for further sustained work to understand this complex, contested space is endorsed, noting that it is critical to inform future debates and service decisions.
      PubDate: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Community Psychology as a Process of Citizen Participation in Health
           Policy; Comment on “The ...

    • Abstract: This brief commentary discusses a recent paper by Speed and Mannion that explores “The Rise of post truth populism in liberal democracies: challenges for health policy.” It considers their assertion that through meaningful democratic engagement in health policy, some of the risks brought about by an exclusionary populist politics can be mediated. With an overview of what participation means in modern healthcare policy and implementation, the field of community psychology is presented as one way to engage marginalized groups at risk of exploitation or exclusion by nativist populist policy.
      PubDate: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Personalisation - An Emergent Institutional Logic in Healthcare';
           Comment on “(Re) Making the ...

    • Abstract: This commentary on the recent think piece by Mannion and Exworthy reviews their core arguments, highlighting their suggestion that recent forces for personalization have emerged which may counterbalance the strong standardization wave which has been evident in many healthcare settings and systems over the last two decades. These forces for personalization can take very different forms. The commentary explores the authors’ suggestion that these themes can be fruitfully examined theoretically through an institutional logics (ILs) literature, which has recently been applied by some scholars to healthcare settings. This commentary outlines key premises of that theoretical tradition. Finally, the commentary makes suggestions for taking this IL influenced research agenda further, along with some issues to be addressed.
      PubDate: Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • All Health Partnerships, Great and Small: Comparing Mandated With Emergent
           Health Partnerships; ...

    • Abstract: The plurality of healthcare providers and funders in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has given rise to an era in which health partnerships are becoming the norm in international development. Whether mandated or emergent, three common drivers are essential for ensuring successful health partnerships: trust; a diverse and inclusive network; and a clear governance structure. Mandated and emergent health partnerships operate as very different models and at different scales. However, there is potential for sharing and learning between these types of partnerships. Emergent health partnerships, especially as they scale up, may learn from mandated partnerships about establishing clear governance mandates for larger and more complex partnerships. By combining social network analysis, which can detect key actors and stakeholders that could add value to existing emergent partnerships, with Brinkerhoff’s comprehensive framework for partnership evaluation, we can identify a set of tools that could be used to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of emergent health partnerships.
      PubDate: Sat, 10 Jun 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Human Dignity as Leading Principle in Public Health Ethics: A Multi-Case
           Analysis of 21st ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundThere is ample evidence that since the turn of the millennium German health policy made a considerable step towards prevention and health promotion, putting the strategies of ‘personal empowerment’ and ‘settings based approach’ high on the federal government’s agenda. This phenomenon has challenged the role of ethics in health policy. Concurrently, increasing relevance of the Concept of Human Dignity for health and human rights has been discussed. However, a direct relationship between Human Dignity and Public Health Ethics (PHE) has surprisingly not yet been established.  MethodsWe here conduct a systematic ethical analysis of eminent German health prevention policy case-examples between the years 2000–2016. Specifically, our analysis seeks to adapt and apply the principalism (autonomy, beneficence, justice)-based Concept of Human Dignity of Italian philosopher Corrado Viafora, contextualizing it with the emerging field of PHE. To further inform this health policy analysis, index databases (PubMed, Google Scholar) were searched to include relevant published and grey literature.  ResultsWe observe a systematic approach of post-millennial health policy decisions on prevention and on defined health targets in Germany, exemplified by (1) the fostering of the preparedness against pandemic infectious diseases, (2) the development and implementation of the first cancer vaccination, (3) major legal provisions on non-smokers protection in the public domain, (4) acts to strengthen long term care (LTC) as well as (5) the new German E-Health legislation. The ethical analysis of these health prevention decisions exhibits their profound ongoing impact on social justice, probing their ability to meet the underlying Concept of Human Dignity in order to fulfill the requirements of the principle of non-maleficence.  ConclusionThe observed health policy focus on prevention and health promotion has sparked new public debates about the formation of/compliance with emerging standards of PHE in Germany. We believe that the overall impact of this novel policy orientation will gradually show over mid- and long-term periods, both in terms of improvements in health system performance and concurrently in diagnostics, therapies and health outcome on individual patient level. The Concept of Human Dignity may soon play an even greater role in European PHE debates to come.
      PubDate: Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Priority Setting: Right Answer to a Far Too Narrow Question?; Comment on
           “Global Developments ...

    • Abstract: In their recent editorial, Baltussen and colleagues provide a concise summary of the prevailing discourse on priority-setting in health policy. Their perspective is entirely consistent with current practice, yet they unintentionally demonstrate the narrowness and moral precariousness of that discourse and practice. I respond with demonstrations of the importance of ‘interrogating scarcity’ in a variety of contexts.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Bright Elusive Butterfly of Value in Health Technology Development;
           Comment on “Providing ...

    • Abstract: The current system of health technology development is characterised by multiple misalignments. The “supply” side (innovation policy-makers, entrepreneurs, investors) and the “demand” side (health policy-makers, regulators, health technology assessment, purchasers) operate under different – and conflicting – logics. The system is less a “pathway” than an unstable ecosystem of multiple interacting sub-systems. “Value” means different things to each of the numerous actors involved. Supply-side dynamics are built on fictions; regulatory checks and balances are designed to assure quality, safety and efficacy, not to ensure that technologies entering the market are either desirable or cost-effective. Assessment of comparative and cost-effectiveness usually comes too late in the process to shape an innovation’s development.  We offer no simple solutions to these problems, but in the spirit of commencing a much-needed public debate, we suggest some tentative ways forward. First, universities and public research funders should play a more proactive role in shaping the system. Second, the role of industry in forging long-term strategic partnerships for public benefit should be acknowledged (though not uncritically). Third, models of “responsible innovation” and public input to research priority-setting should be explored. Finally, the evidence base on how best to govern inter-sectoral health research partnerships should be developed and applied.
      PubDate: Sun, 28 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • WHO FCTC as a Pioneering and Learning Instrument; Comment on “The
           Legal Strength of ...

    • Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a unique global health instrument, since it is in the health field the only instrument that is international law. After the 10 years of its existence an Independent Expert Group assessed the impact of the FCTC using all available data and visiting a number of countries interviewing different stakeholders. It is quite clear that the Treaty has acted as a strong catalyst and framework for national actions and that remarkable progress in global tobacco control can be seen. At the same time FCTC has moved tobacco control in countries from a pure health issue to a legal responsibility of the whole government, and on the international level created stronger interagency collaboration. The assessment also showed the many challenges. The spread of tobacco use, as well as of other risk lifestyles, is related to globalization. FCTC is a pioneering example of global action to counteract the negative social consequences of globalization. A convention is not an easy instrument, but the FCTC has undoubtedly sparked thinking and development of other stronger public health instruments and of needed governance structures.
      PubDate: Mon, 22 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Polycentrism in Global Health Governance Scholarship; Comment on “Four
           Challenges That Global ...

    • Abstract: Drawing on an in-depth analysis of eight global health networks, a recent essay in this journal argued that global health networks face four challenges to their effectiveness: problem definition, positioning, coalition-building, and governance. While sharing the argument of the essay concerned, in this commentary, we argue that these analytical concepts can be used to explicate a concept that has implicitly been used in global health governance scholarship for quite a few years. While already prominent in the discussion of climate change governance, for instance, global health governance scholarship could make progress by looking at global health governance as being polycentric. Concisely, polycentric forms of governance mix scales, mechanisms, and actors. Drawing on the essay, we propose a polycentric approach to the study of global health governance that incorporates coalitionbuilding tactics, internal governance and global political priority as explanatory factors.
      PubDate: Mon, 22 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Ensuring HIV Data Availability, Transparency and Integrity in the MENA
           Region; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary, we elaborate on the main points that Karamouzian and colleagues have made about HIV data scarcity in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. Without accessible and reliable data, no epidemic can be managed effectively or efficiently. Clearly, increased investments are needed to bolster capabilities to capture and interpret HIV surveillance data. We believe that this enhanced capacity can be achieved, in part, by leveraging and repurposing existing data platforms, technologies and patient cohorts. An immediate modest investment that capitalizes on available infrastructure can generate data on the HIV burden and spread that can be persuasive for MENA policy-makers to intensify efforts to track and contain the growing HIV epidemic in this region. A focus on key populations will yield the most valuable data, including among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women and men, persons who inject drugs (PWIDs), female partners of high risk men and female sex workers.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Innovative Use of the Law to Address Complex Global Health Problems;
           Comment on “The Legal ...

    • Abstract: Addressing the increasingly globalised determinants of many important problems affecting human health is a complex task requiring collective action. We suggest that part of the solution to addressing intractable global health issues indeed lies with the role of new legal instruments in the form of globally binding treaties, as described in the recent article of Nikogosian and Kickbusch. However, in addition to the use of international law to develop new treaties, another part of the solution may lie in innovative use of existing legal instruments. A 2015 court ruling in The Hague, which ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% within five years, complements this perspective, suggesting a way forward for addressing global health problems that critically involves civil society and innovative use of existing domestic legal instruments.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Governing Collaborative Healthcare Improvement: Lessons From an Atlantic
           Canadian Case

    • Abstract: The Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement in Chronic Disease (AHC) Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) in Eastern Canada provided an approach to spur system-level reform across multiple health systems for patients and families living with chronic disease. Developed and led by senior executives with a unique governance approach and involving clinical front-line teams, the AHC serves as a practical example of leadership creating and driving momentum for achieving success in collaborative health system improvements.
      PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Family Planning as a Possible Measure to Alleviate Poverty in the
           Philippines – Beyond ...

    • PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • This Is My (Post) Truth, Tell Me Yours; Comment on “The Rise of
           Post-truth Populism in ...

    • Abstract: This is a commentary on the article ‘The rise of post-truth populism in pluralist liberal democracies: challenges for health policy.’ It critically examines two of its key concepts: populism and ‘post truth.’ This commentary argues that there are different types of populism, with unclear links to impacts, and that in some ways, ‘post-truth’ has resonances with arguments advanced in the period at the beginning of the British National Health Service (NHS). In short, ‘post-truth’ populism’ may be ‘déjà vu all over again,’ and there are multiple (post) truths: this is my (post) truth, tell me yours.
      PubDate: Sun, 14 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • An Evaluation of the Role of an Intermediate Care Facility in the
           Continuum of Care in Western ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundA comprehensive primary healthcare (PHC) approach requires clear referral and continuity of care pathways. South Africa is a lower-middle income country (LMIC) that lacks data on the role of intermediate care (IC) services in the health system. This study described the model of service provision at one facility in Cape Town, including reason for admission, the mix of services and skills provided and needed, patient satisfaction, patient outcome and articulation with other services across the spectrum of care.  MethodsA multi-method design was used. Sixty-eight patients were recruited over one month in mid-2011 in a prospective cohort. Patient data were collected from clinical record review and an interviewer-administered questionnaire, administered shortly after admission to assess primary and secondary diagnosis, referring institution, knowledge of and previous use of home based care (HBC) services, reason for admission and demographics. A telephonic questionnaire at 9-weeks post-discharge recorded their vital status, use of HBC post-discharge and their satisfaction with care received. Staff members completed a self-administered questionnaire to describe demographics and skills. Cox regression was used to identify predictors of survival. ResultsOf the 68 participants, 38% and 24% were referred from a secondary and tertiary hospital, respectively. Stroke (35%) was the most common single reason for admission. The three most common reasons reported why care was better at the IC facility were staff attitude, the presence of physiotherapy and the wound care. Even though most patients reported admission to another health facility in the preceding year, only 13 patients (21%) had ever accessed HBC and only 25% (n = 15) of discharged patients used HBC post-discharge. Of the 57 patients traced on follow-up, 21(37%) had died. The presence of a Care-plan was significantly associated with a 62% lower risk of death (hazard ratio: 0.38; CI 0.15–0.97). Notably, 46% of staff members reported performing roles that were outside their scope of practice and there was a mismatch between what staff reported doing and their actual tasks.  ConclusionClients understood this service as a caring environment primarily responsible for rehabilitation services. A Care-plan beyond admission could significantly reduce mortality. There was poor referral to and poor articulation with HBC services. IC services should be recognised as an integral part of the health system and should be accessible.
      PubDate: Sat, 13 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Public Health Policy and Experience of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in
           Pune, India

    • Abstract: Background Prior experience and the persisting threat of influenza pandemic indicate the need for global and local preparedness and public health response capacity. The pandemic of 2009 highlighted the importance of such planning and the value of prior efforts at all levels. Our review of the public health response to this pandemic in Pune, India, considers the challenges of integrating global and national strategies in local programmes and lessons learned for influenza pandemic preparedness.   Methods Global, national and local pandemic preparedness and response plans have been reviewed. In-depth interviews were undertaken with district health policy-makers and administrators who coordinated the pandemic response in Pune.   Results In the absence of a comprehensive district-level pandemic preparedness plan, the response had to be improvised. Media reporting of the influenza pandemic and inaccurate information that was reported at times contributed to anxiety in the general public and to widespread fear and panic. Additional challenges included inadequate public health services and reluctance of private healthcare providers to treat people with flu-like symptoms. Policy-makers developed a response strategy that they referred to as the Pune plan, which relied on powers sanctioned by the Epidemic Act of 1897 and resources made available by the union health ministry, state health department and a government diagnostic laboratory in Pune.   Conclusion The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global strategy for pandemic control focuses on national planning, but state-level and local experience in a large nation like India shows how national planning may be adapted and implemented. The priority of local experience and requirements does not negate the need for higher level planning. It does, however, indicate the importance of local adaptability as an essential feature of the planning process. Experience and the implicit Pune plan that emerged are relevant for pandemic preparedness and other public health emergencies.
      PubDate: Fri, 12 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Including Health in Environmental Assessments of Major Transport
           Infrastructure Projects: A ...

    • Abstract: Background Transport policy and practice impacts health. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are regulated public policy mechanisms that can be used to consider the health impacts of major transport projects before they are approved. The way health is considered in these environmental assessments (EAs) is not well known. This research asked: How and to what extent was human health considered in EAs of four major transport projects in Australia.   Methods We developed a comprehensive coding framework to analyse the Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) of four transport infrastructure projects: three road and one light rail. The coding framework was designed to capture how health was directly and indirectly included.   Results We found that health was partially considered in all four EISs. In the three New South Wales (NSW) projects, but not the one South Australian project, this was influenced by the requirements issued to proponents by the government which directed the content of the EIS. Health was assessed using human health risk assessment (HHRA). We found this to be narrow in focus and revealed a need for a broader social determinants of health approach, using multiple methods. The road assessments emphasised air quality and noise risks, concluding these were minimal or predicted to improve. The South Australian project was the only road project not to include health data explicitly. The light rail EIS considered the health benefits of the project whereas the others focused on risk. Only one project considered mental health, although in less detail than air quality or noise.   Conclusion Our findings suggest EIAs lag behind the known evidence linking transport infrastructure to health. If health is to be comprehensively included, a more complete model of health is required, as well as a shift away from health risk assessment as the main method used. This needs to be mandatory for all significant developments. We also found that considering health only at the EIA stage may be a significant limitation, and there is a need for health issues to be considered when earlier, fundamental decisions about the project are being made.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Define and Conquer: How Semantics Foster Progress; A Response to Recent
           Commentaries

    • PubDate: Tue, 09 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • New Health Technologies: A UK Perspective; Comment on “Providing
           Value to New Health ...

    • Abstract: New health technologies require development and evaluation ahead of being incorporated into the patient care pathway. In light of the recent publication by Lehoux et al who discuss the role of entrepreneurs, investors and regulators in providing value to new health technologies, we summarise the processes involved in making new health technologies available for use in the United Kingdom.
      PubDate: Mon, 08 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Managing In- and Out-Migration of Health Workforce in Selected Countries
           in South East Asia Region

    • Abstract: BackgroundThere is an increasing trend of international migration of health professionals from low- and middle- income countries to high-income countries as well as across middle-income countries. The WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel was created to better address health workforce development and the ethical conduct of international recruitment. This study assessed policies and practices in 4 countries in South East Asia on managing the in- and out-migration of doctors and nurses to see whether the management has been in line with the WHO Global Code and has fostered health workforce development in the region; and draws lessons from these countries. MethodsFollowing the second round of monitoring of the Global Code of Practice, a common protocol was developed for an in-depth analysis of (a) destination country policy instruments to ensure expatriate and local professional quality through licensing and equal practice, (b) source country collaboration to ensure the out-migrating professionals are equally treated by destination country systems. Documents on employment practice for local and expatriate health professionals were also reviewed and synthesized by the country authors, followed by a cross-country thematic analysis. ResultsBhutan and the Maldives have limited local health workforce production capacities, while Indonesia and Thailand have sufficient capacities but are at risk of increased out-migration of nurses. All countries have mandatory licensing for local and foreign trained professionals. Legislation and employment rules and procedures are equally applied to domestic and expatriate professionals in all countries. Some countries apply mandatory renewal of professional licenses for local professionals that require continued professional development. Local language proficiency required by destination countries is the main barrier to foreign professionals gaining a license. The size of outmigration is unknown by these 4 countries, except in Indonesia where some formal agreements exist with other governments or private recruiters for which the size of outflows through these mechanisms can be captured.  ConclusionMandatory professional licensing, employment regulations and procedures are equally applied to domestic and foreign trained professionals, though local language requirements can be a barrier in gaining license. Source country policy to protect their out-migrating professionals by ensuring equal conditions of practice by destination countries is hampered by the fact that most out-migrating professionals leave voluntarily and are outside government to government agreements. This requires more international solidarity and collaboration between source and destination countries, for which the WHO Global Code is an essential and useful platform.
      PubDate: Sun, 07 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Measuring the Benefits of Healthcare: DALYs and QALYs – Does the Choice
           of Measure Matter? A ...

    • Abstract: Background The measurement of health benefits is a key issue in health economic evaluations. There is very scarce empirical literature exploring the differences of using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) or disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) as benefit metrics and their potential impact in decision-making.   Methods Two previously published models delivering outputs in QALYs, were adapted to estimate DALYs: a Markov model for human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination, and a pneumococcal vaccination deterministic model (PNEUMO). Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom studies were used, where local EQ-5D social value weights were available to provide local QALY weights. A primary study with descriptive vignettes was done (n = 73) to obtain EQ-5D data for all health states included in both models. Several scenario analyses were carried-out to evaluate the relative importance of using different metrics (DALYS or QALYs) to estimate health benefits on these economic evaluations.   Results QALY gains were larger than DALYs avoided in all countries for HPV, leading to more favorable decisions using the former. With discounting and age-weighting – scenario with greatest differences in all countries – incremental DALYs avoided represented the 75%, 68%, and 43% of the QALYs gained in Argentina, Chile, and United Kingdom respectively. Differences using QALYs or DALYs were less consistent and sometimes in the opposite direction for PNEUMO. These differences, similar to other widely used assumptions, could directly influence decision-making using usual gross domestic products (GDPs) per capita per DALY or QALY thresholds.   Conclusion We did not find evidence that contradicts current practice of many researchers and decision-makers of using QALYs or DALYs interchangeably. Differences attributed to the choice of metric could influence final decisions, but similarly to other frequently used assumptions.
      PubDate: Fri, 05 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Passed the Age of Puberty: Organizational Networks as a Way to Get Things
           Done in the Health ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary I will demonstrate that the case study of Uganda’s Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine application partnership provides an excellent example of widening our lens by evaluating the successful HP vaccine coverage from a network-centric perspective. That implies that the organizational network is seen as the locus of production and that network theories become indispensable to analyze the situation at hand. The case study is, as said, an excellent example of how this can be done and my comments have to be read as an endorsement and a broadening of the discussion of what Carol Kamya and colleagues have presented. It is demonstrated that an organizational network approach can be considered a serious and mature way in understanding public health issues.
      PubDate: Tue, 02 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • “Stop, You’re Killing us!” An Alternative Take on Populism and
           Public Health; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Ewen Speed and Russell Mannion correctly identify several contours of the challenges for health policy in what it is useful to think of as a post-democratic era. I argue that the problem for public health is not populism per se, but rather the distinctive populism of the right coupled with the failure of the left to develop compelling counternarratives. Further, defences of ‘science’ must be tempered by recognition of the unavoidably political dimensions of the (mis)use of scientific findings in public policy.
      PubDate: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Economic Inequality in Presenting Vision in Shahroud, Iran: Two
           Decomposition Methods

    • Abstract: BackgroundVisual acuity, like many other health-related problems, does not have an equal distribution in terms of socio-economic factors. We conducted this study to estimate and decompose economic inequality in presenting visual acuity using two methods and to compare their results in a population aged 40-64 years in Shahroud, Iran. Methods: The data of 5188 participants in the first phase of the Shahroud Cohort Eye Study, performed in 2009, were used for this study. Our outcome variable was presenting vision acuity (PVA) that was measured using LogMAR (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution). The living standard variable used for estimation of inequality was the economic status and was constructed by principal component analysis on home assets. Inequality indices were concentration index and the gap between low and high economic groups. We decomposed these indices by the concentration index and BlinderOaxaca decomposition approaches respectively and compared the results. ResultsThe concentration index of PVA was -0.245 (95% CI: -0.278, -0.212). The PVA gap between groups with a high and low economic status was 0.0705 and was in favor of the high economic group. Education, economic status, and age were the most important contributors of inequality in both concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Percent contribution of these three factors in the concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition was 41.1% vs. 43.4%, 25.4% vs. 19.1% and 15.2% vs. 16.2%, respectively. Other factors including gender, marital status, employment status and diabetes had minor contributions. ConclusionThis study showed that individuals with poorer visual acuity were more concentrated among people with a lower economic status. The main contributors of this inequality were similar in concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. So, it can be concluded that setting appropriate interventions to promote the literacy and income level in people with low economic status, formulating policies to address economic problems in the elderly, and paying more attention to their vision problems can help to alleviate economic inequality in visual acuity.
      PubDate: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Eliminating Healthcare-Associated Infections in Iran: A Qualitative Study
           to Explore ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundAlthough preventable, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to pose huge health and economic burdens on countries worldwide. Some studies have indicated the numerous causes of HAIs, but only a tiny literature exists on the multifaceted measures that can be used to address the problem. This paper presents stakeholders’ opinions on measures for controlling HAIs in Iran.  MethodsWe used the qualitative research method in studying the phenomenon. Through a purposive sampling approach, we conducted 24 face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. Participants were mainly key informants, including policy-makers, health professionals, and technical officers across the national and subnational levels, including the Ministry of Health (MoH), medical universities, and hospitals in Iran. We performed thematic framework analysis using the software MAXQDA10. ResultsFour main interdisciplinary themes emerged from our study of measures of controlling HAIs: strengthening governance and stewardship; strengthening human resources policies; appropriate prescription and usage of antibiotics; and environmental sanitation and personal hygiene. ConclusionAccording to our findings, elimination of HAIs demands multifactorial interventions. While the ultimate recommendation of policy-makers is to have HAIs among the priorities of the national agenda, financial commitment and the creation of an enabling work environment in which both patients and healthcare workers can practice personal hygiene could lead to a significant reduction in HAIs in Iran.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Performance-Based Financing to Strengthen the Health System in Benin:
           Challenging the ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundPerformance-based financing (PBF) is often proposed as a way to improve health system performance. In Benin, PBF was launched in 2012 through a World Bank-supported project. The Belgian Development Agency (BTC) followed suit through a health system strengthening (HSS) project. This paper analyses and draws lessons from the experience of BTC-supported PBF alternative approach – especially with regards to institutional aspects, the role of demand-side actors, ownership, and cost-effectiveness – and explores the mechanisms at stake so as to better understand how the “PBF package” functions and produces effects. MethodsAn exploratory, theory-driven evaluation approach was adopted. Causal mechanisms through which PBF is hypothesised to impact on results were singled out and explored. This paper stems from the co-authors’ capitalisation of experiences; mixed methods were used to collect, triangulate and analyse information. Results are structured along Witter et al framework. ResultsInfluence of context is strong over PBF in Benin; the policy is donor-driven. BTC did not adopt the World Bank’s mainstream PBF model, but developed an alternative approach in line with its HSS support programme, which is grounded on existing domestic institutions. The main features of this approach are described (decentralised governance, peer review verification, counter-verification entrusted to health service users’ platforms), as well as its adaptive process. PBF has contributed to strengthen various aspects of the health system and led to modest progress in utilisation of health services, but noticeable improvements in healthcare quality. Three mechanisms explaining observed outcomes within the context are described: comprehensive HSS at district level; acting on health workers’ motivation through a complex package of incentives; and increased accountability by reinforcing dialogue with demand-side actors. Cost-effectiveness and sustainability issues are also discussed. ConclusionBTC’s alternative PBF approach is both promising in terms of effects, ownership and sustainability, and less resource consuming. This experience testifies that PBF is not a uniform or rigid model, and opens the policy ground for recipient governments to put their own emphasis and priorities and design ad hoc models adapted to their context specificities. However, integrating PBF within the normal functioning of local health systems, in line with other reforms, is a big challenge.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Assessing Patient Organization Participation in Health Policy: A
           Comparative Study in France ...

    • Abstract: Background Even though there are many patient organizations across Europe, their role in impacting health policy decisions and reforms has not been well documented. In line with this, the present study endeavours to fill this gap in the international literature. To this end, it aims to validate further a previously developed instrument (the Health Democracy Index - HDI) measuring patient organization participation in health policy decision-making. In addition, by utilizing this tool, it aims to provide a snapshot of the degree and impact of cancer patient organization (CPO) participation in Italy and France.    Methods A convenient sample of 188 members of CPOs participated in the study (95 respondents from 10 CPOs in Italy and 93 from 12 CPOs in France). Participants completed online a self-reported questionnaire, encompassing the 9-item index and questions enquiring about the type and impact of participation in various facets of health policy decisionmaking. The psychometric properties of the scale were explored by performing factor analysis (construct validity) and by computing Cronbach α (internal consistency).   Results Findings indicate that the index has good internal consistency and the construct it taps is unidimensional. The degree and impact of CPO participation in health policy decision-making were found to be low in both countries; however in Italy they were comparatively lower than in France.   Conclusion In conclusion, the HDI can be effectively used in international policy and research contexts. CPOs participation is low in Italy and France and concerted efforts should be made on upgrading their role in health policy decision-making.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • “Enemies of the People?” Public Health in the Era of Populist
           Politics; Comment on “The ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary, we review the growth of populist politics, associated with exploitation of what has been termed fake news. We explore how certain words have been used in similar contexts historically, in particular the term “enemy of the people,” especially with regard to public health. We then set out 6 principles for public health professionals faced with these situations. First, using their epidemiological skills, they can provide insights into the reasons underlying the growth of populist politics. Second using their expertise in modelling and health impact assessment, they can anticipate and warn about the consequences of populist policies. Third, they can support the institutions that are necessary for effective public health. Fourth they can reclaim the narrative, rejecting hatred and division, to promote social solidarity. Fifth, they can support fact checking and the use of evidence. Finally, they should always remember the lessons of history, and in particular, the way that public health has, on occasions, collaborated with totalitarian and genocidal regimes.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Public Spending on Health Service and Policy Research in Canada, the
           United Kingdom, and the ...

    • Abstract: Health services and policy research (HSPR) represent a multidisciplinary field which integrates knowledge from health economics, health policy, health technology assessment, epidemiology, political science among other fields, to evaluate decisions in health service delivery. Health service decisions are informed by evidence at the clinical, organizational, and policy level, levels with distinct, managerial drivers. HSPR has an evolving discourse spanning knowledge translation, linkage and exchange between research and decision-maker partners and more recently, implementation science and learning health systems. Local context is important for HSPR and is important in advancing health reform practice. The amounts and configuration of national investment in this field remain important considerations which reflect priority investment areas. The priorities set within this field or research may have greater or lesser effects and promise with respect to modernizing health services in pursuit of better value and better population outcomes. Within Canada an asset map for HSPR was published by the national HSPR research institute. Having estimated publiclyfunded research spending in Canada, we sought identify best available comparable estimates from the United States and the United Kingdom. Investments from industry and charitable organizations were not included in these numbers. This commentary explores spending by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on HSPR as a fraction of total public spending on health and the importance of these respective investments in advancing health service performance. Proposals are offered on the merits of common nomenclature and accounting for areas of investigation in pursuit of some comparable way of assessing priority HSPR investments and suggestions for earmarking such investments to total investment in health services spending.
      PubDate: Sun, 09 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Evaluating the Process and Extent of Institutionalization: A Case Study of
           a Rapid Response ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundGood decision-making requires gathering and using sufficient information. Several knowledge translation platforms have been introduced in Burkina Faso to support evidence-informed decision-making. One of these is the rapid response service for health. This platform aims to provide quick access for policy-makers in Burkina Faso to highquality research evidence about health systems. The purpose of this study is to describe the process and extent of the institutionalization of the rapid response service. MethodsA qualitative case study design was used, drawing on interviews with policy-makers, together with documentary analysis. Previously used institutionalization frameworks were combined to guide the analysis.  ResultsBurkina Faso’s rapid response service has largely reached the consolidation phase of the institutionalization process but not yet the final phase of maturity. The impetus for the project came from designated project leaders, who convinced policy-makers of the importance of the rapid response service, and obtained resources to run a pilot. During the expansion stage, additional policy-makers at national and sub-national levels began to use the service. Unit staff also tried to improve the way it was delivered, based on lessons learned during the pilot stage. The service has, however, stagnated at the consolidation stage, and not moved into the final phase of maturity.  ConclusionThe institutionalization process for the rapid response service in Burkina Faso has been fluid rather than linear, with some areas developing faster than others. The service has reached the consolidation stage, but now requires additional efforts to reach maturity.
      PubDate: Sun, 09 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • How Are New Vaccines Prioritized in Low-Income Countries? A Case Study of
           Human Papilloma Virus ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundTo date, research on priority-setting for new vaccines has not adequately explored the influence of the global, national and sub-national levels of decision-making or contextual issues such as political pressure and stakeholder influence and power. Using Kapiriri and Martin’s conceptual framework, this paper evaluates priority setting for new vaccines in Uganda at national and sub-national levels, and considers how global priorities can influence country priorities. This study focuses on 2 specific vaccines, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).  MethodsThis was a qualitative study that involved reviewing relevant Ugandan policy documents and media reports, as well as 54 key informant interviews at the global level and national and sub-national levels in Uganda. Kapiriri and Martin’s conceptual framework was used to evaluate the prioritization process.  ResultsPriority setting for PCV and HPV was conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH), which is considered to be a legitimate institution. While respondents described the priority setting process for PCV process as transparent, participatory, and guided by explicit relevant criteria and evidence, the prioritization of HPV was thought to have been less transparent and less participatory. Respondents reported that neither process was based on an explicit priority setting framework nor did it involve adequate representation from the districts (program implementers) or publicity. The priority setting process for both PCV and HPV was negatively affected by the larger political and economic context, which contributed to weak institutional capacity as well as power imbalances between development assistance partners and the MoH.  ConclusionPriority setting in Uganda would be improved by strengthening institutional capacity and leadership and ensuring a transparent and participatory processes in which key stakeholders such as program implementers (the districts) and beneficiaries (the public) are involved. Kapiriri and Martin’s framework has the potential to guide priority setting evaluation efforts, however, evaluation should be built into the priority setting process a priori such that information on priority setting is gathered throughout the implementation cycle.
      PubDate: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Should Employers Be Permitted not to Hire Smokers? A Review of US
           Legal Provisions

    • Abstract: BackgroundIncreasingly, healthcare and non-healthcare employers prohibit or penalize the use of tobacco products among current and new employees in the United States. Despite this trend, and for a range of different reasons, around half of states currently legally protect employees from being denied positions, or having employment contracts terminated, due to tobacco use.  MethodsWe undertook a conceptual analysis of legal provisions in all 50 states.  ResultsWe found ethically relevant variations in terms of how tobacco is defined, which employee populations are protected, and to what extent they are protected. Furthermore, the underlying ethical rationales for smoker protection differ, and can be grouped into two main categories: prevention of discrimination and protection of privacy.  ConclusionWe critically discuss these rationales and the role of their advocates and argue that enabling equality of opportunity is a more adequate overarching concept for preventing employers from disadvantaging smokers.
      PubDate: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Does Scale of Public Hospitals Affect Bargaining Power? Evidence From
           Japan

    • Abstract: Background Many of public hospitals in Japan have had a deficit for a long time. Japanese local governments have been encouraging public hospitals to use group purchasing of drugs to benefit from the economies of scale, and increase their bargaining power for obtaining discounts in drug purchasing, thus improving their financial situation. In this study, we empirically investigate whether or not the scale of public hospitals actually affects their bargaining power.   Methods Using micro-level panel data on public hospitals, we examine the effect of the scale of public hospitals (in terms of the number of occupancy beds) on drug purchasing efficiency (DPE) (the average discount rate in purchasing drugs) as a proxy variable of the bargaining power. Additionally, we evaluate the effect of the presence or absence of management responsibility in public hospital for economic efficiency as the proxy variable of an economic incentive and its interaction with the hospital scales on the bargaining power. In the estimations, we use the fixed effects model to control the heterogeneity of each hospital in order to estimate reliable parameters.   Results The scale of public hospitals does not positively correlate with bargaining power, whereas the management responsibility for economic efficiency does. Additionally, scale does not interact with management responsibility.   Conclusion Giving management responsibility for economic efficiency to public hospitals is a more reliable way of gaining bargaining power in drug purchasing, rather than promoting the increase in scale of these public hospitals.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Bringing Value-Based Perspectives to Care: Including Patient and Family
           Members in ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundRecent evidence shows that patient engagement is an important strategy in achieving a high performing healthcare system. While there is considerable evidence of implementation initiatives in direct care context, there is limited investigation of implementation initiatives in decision-making context as it relates to program planning, service delivery and developing policies. Research has also shown a gap in consistent application of system-level strategies that can effectively translate organizational policies around patient and family engagement into practice.  MethodsThe broad objective of this initiative was to develop a system-level implementation strategy to include patient and family advisors (PFAs) at decision-making points in primary healthcare (PHC) based on wellestablished evidence and literature. In this opportunity sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) a co-design methodology, also well-established was applied in identifying and developing a suitable implementation strategy to engage PFAs as members of quality teams in PHC. Diabetes management centres (DMCs) was selected as the pilot site to develop the strategy. Key steps in the process included review of evidence, review of the current state in PHC through engagement of key stakeholders and a co-design approach.  ResultsThe project team included a diverse representation of members from the PHC system including patient advisors, DMC team members, system leads, providers, Public Engagement team members and CFHI improvement coaches. Key outcomes of this 18-month long initiative included development of a working definition of patient and family engagement, development of a Patient and Family Engagement Resource Guide and evaluation of the resource guide.  ConclusionThis novel initiative provided us an opportunity to develop a supportive system-wide implementation plan and a strategy to include PFAs in decision-making processes in PHC. The well-established co-design methodology further allowed us to include value-based (customer driven quality and experience of care) perspectives of several important stakeholders including patient advisors. The next step will be to implement the strategy within DMCs, spread the strategy PHC, both locally and provincially with a focus on sustainability.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Lost in Translation: Piloting a Novel Framework to Assess the Challenges
           in Translating ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundCalls for evidence-informed public health policy, with implicit promises of greater program effectiveness, have intensified recently. The methods to produce such policies are not self-evident, requiring a conciliation of values and norms between policy-makers and evidence producers. In particular, the translation of uncertainty from empirical research findings, particularly issues of statistical variability and generalizability, is a persistent challenge because of the incremental nature of research and the iterative cycle of advancing knowledge and implementation. This paper aims to assess how the concept of uncertainty is considered and acknowledged in World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommendations and guidelines.  MethodsWe selected four WHO policy statements published between 2008-2013 regarding maternal and child nutrient supplementation, infant feeding, heat action plans, and malaria control to represent topics with a spectrum of available evidence bases. Each of these four statements was analyzed using a novel framework to assess the treatment of statistical variability and generalizability. ResultsWHO currently provides substantial guidance on addressing statistical variability through GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) ratings for precision and consistency in their guideline documents. Accordingly, our analysis showed that policy-informing questions were addressed by systematic reviews and representations of statistical variability (eg, with numeric confidence intervals). In contrast, the presentation of contextual or “background” evidence regarding etiology or disease burden showed little consideration for this variability. Moreover, generalizability or “indirectness” was uniformly neglected, with little explicit consideration of study settings or subgroups.  ConclusionIn this paper, we found that non-uniform treatment of statistical variability and generalizability factors that may contribute to uncertainty regarding recommendations were neglected, including the state of evidence informing background questions (prevalence, mechanisms, or burden or distributions of health problems) and little assessment of generalizability, alternate interventions, and additional outcomes not captured by systematic review. These other factors often form a basis for providing policy recommendations, particularly in the absence of a strong evidence base for intervention effects. Consequently, they should also be subject to stringent and systematic evaluation criteria. We suggest that more effort is needed to systematically acknowledge (1) when evidence is missing, conflicting, or equivocal, (2) what normative considerations were also employed, and (3) how additional evidence may be accrued.
      PubDate: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Contextualizing Obesity and Diabetes Policy: Exploring a Nested
           Statistical and Constructivist ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundThis article conducts a comparative national and subnational government analysis of the political, economic, and ideational constructivist contextual factors facilitating the adoption of obesity and diabetes policy.  MethodsWe adopt a nested analytical approach to policy analysis, which combines cross-national statistical analysis with subnational case study comparisons to examine theoretical prepositions and discover alternative contextual factors; this was combined with an ideational constructivist approach to policy-making.  ResultsContrary to the existing literature, we found that with the exception of cross-national statistical differences in access to healthcare infrastructural resources, the growing burden of obesity and diabetes, rising healthcare costs and increased citizens’ knowledge had no predictive affect on the adoption of obesity and diabetes policy. We then turned to a subnational comparative analysis of the states of Mississippi in the United States and Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil to further assess the importance of infrastructural resources, at two units of analysis: the state governments versus rural municipal governments. Qualitative evidence suggests that differences in subnational healthcare infrastructural resources were insufficient for explaining policy reform processes, highlighting instead other potentially important factors, such as state-civil societal relationships and policy diffusion in Mississippi, federal policy intervention in Rio Grande do Norte, and politicians’ social construction of obesity and the resulting differences in policy roles assigned to the central government.  ConclusionWe conclude by underscoring the complexity of subnational policy responses to obesity and diabetes, the importance of combining resource and constructivist analysis for better understanding the context of policy reform, while underscoring the potential lessons that the United States can learn from Brazil.
      PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
 
 
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