Contents tagged: health systems

March 30, 2017 Europe Publication

Integrating safety concepts in health and social care

Keeping individuals safe from harm and exploitation is a clearly articulated goal within both the health and social care sectors. Two key concepts associated with achieving this common aim are safety and safeguarding. The purpose of this paper is to critically appraise the differences in safety terminology used in health and social care, including opportunities and challenges for greater integration of safety systems across health and social care in England. 

Dec. 2, 2016 Africa Publication

Patient-Centered Care and People-Centered Health Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: Why So Little of Something So Badly Needed?

Patient–centered care (PCC) is increasingly recognized as a key dimension of quality healthcare, but unfortunately remains poorly implemented in practice. This paper explores the current state of PCC in sub-Saharan Africa and potential barriers to its implementation, with a focus on public first line health services. They develop an analytical framework based on expert knowledge, field experience, and a conceptual literature review. Factors contributing to the (lack of) implementation of PCC are structured in three distinct but interacting layers. The first layer encompasses factors that influence and shape the performance of providers.  The training of health workers is key in that respect. Training models remain dominated by a biomedical perspective, with little attention for psychosocial dimensions of the illness experience. The second layer of determinants relates to the structural and organizational features of the health system. The emphasis in many African health care systems on specific programmatic outputs, and ...

May 25, 2016 Europe Publication

Exploring payment schemes used to promote integrated chronic care in Europe

The rising burden of chronic conditions has led several European countries to reform healthcare payment schemes. This paper aimed to explore the adoption and success of payment schemes that promote integration of chronic care in European countries. A literature review was used to identify European countries that employed pay-for-coordination (PFC), pay-for-performance (PFP), and bundled payment schemes. Existing evidence from the literature was supplemented with fifteen interviews with chronic care experts in these countries to obtain detailed information regarding the payment schemes, facilitators and barriers to their implementation, and their perceived success.

Austria, France, England, the Netherlands, and Germany have implemented payment schemes that were specifically designed to promote the integration of chronic care. Prominent factors facilitating implementation included stakeholder cooperation, adequate financial incentives for stakeholders, and flexible task allocation among different care provider disciplines. Common barriers to implementation included misaligned incentives across stakeholders and gaming. The implemented payment schemes targeted ...

May 25, 2016 Western Pacific Publication

Consolidating the social health insurance schemes in China: towards an equitable and efficient health system

Fragmentation in social health insurance schemes is an important factor for inequitable access to health care and financial protection for people covered by different health insurance schemes in China. To fulfil its commitment of universal health coverage by 2020, the Chinese Government needs to prioritise addressing this issue. After analysing the situation of fragmentation, this Review summarises efforts to consolidate health insurance schemes both in China and internationally. Rural migrants, elderly people, and those with non-communicable diseases in China will greatly benefit from consolidation of the existing health insurance schemes with extended funding pools, thereby narrowing the disparities among health insurance schemes in fund level and benefit package. Political commitments, institutional innovations, and a feasible implementation plan are the major elements needed for success in consolidation. Achievement of universal health coverage in China needs systemic strategies including consolidation of the social health insurance schemes.

March 18, 2016 Americas Publication

Primary Care and Public Health Services Integration in Brazil’s Unified Health System

Objectives: We examined associations between transdisciplinary collaboration, evidence-based practice, and primary care and public health services integration in Brazil’s Family Health Strategy. We aimed to identify practices that facilitate service integration and evidence-based practice.

Methods: We collected cross-sectional data from community health workers, nurses, and physicians (n = 262). We used structural equation modeling to assess providers’ service integration and evidence-based practice engagement operationalized as latent factors. Predictors included endorsement of team meetings, access to and consultations with colleagues, familiarity with community, and previous research experience.

Results: Providers’ familiarity with community and team meetings positively influenced evidence-based practice engagement and service integration. More experienced providers reported more integration and engagement. Physicians reported less integration than did community health workers. Black providers reported less evidence-based practice engagement than did Pardo (mixed races) providers. After accounting for all variables, evidencebased practice engagement and service integration were moderately correlated.

Conclusions: Age and race ...

March 17, 2016 Americas Publication

Health-system reform and universal health coverage in Latin America

Starting in the late 1980s, many Latin American countries began social sector reforms to alleviate poverty, reduce socioeconomic inequalities, improve health outcomes, and provide financial risk protection. In particular, starting in the 1990s, reforms aimed at strengthening health systems to reduce inequalities in health access and outcomes focused on expansion of universal health coverage, especially for poor citizens. In Latin America, health-system reforms have produced a distinct approach to universal health coverage, underpinned by the principles of equity, solidarity, and collective action to overcome social inequalities. In most of the countries studied, government financing enabled the introduction of supply-side interventions to expand insurance coverage for uninsured citizens—with defined and enlarged benefits packages—and to scale up delivery of health services. Countries such as Brazil and Cuba introduced tax-financed universal health systems. These changes were combined with demand-side interventions aimed at alleviating poverty (targeting many social determinants of health) and ...

Feb. 10, 2016 Africa Publication

Counting the cost of child mortality in the World Health Organization African region

Background: Worldwide, a total of 6.282 million deaths occurred among children aged less than 5 years in 2013. About 47.4 % of those were borne by the 47 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region. Sadly, even as we approach the end date for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), only eight African countries are on track to achieve the MDG 4 target 4A of reducing under-five mortality by two thirds between 1990 and 2015. The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 target is "by 2030, end preventable deaths of new-borns and children under 5 years of age". There is urgent need for increased advocacy among governments, the private sector and development partners to provide the resources needed to build resilient national health systems to deliver an integrated package of people-centred interventions to end preventable child morbidity and mortality and other structures to address all ...

Feb. 10, 2016 South-East Asia Publication

Implementing people-centred health systems governance in 3 provinces and 11 districts of Afghanistan: a case study


Previous studies show that health systems governance influences health system performance and health outcomes. However, there are few examples of how to implement and monitor good governing practices in fragile and conflict affected environments. Good governance has the potential to make the health system people-centered. More research is needed on implementing a people-centered governance approach in these environments.


We piloted an intervention that placed a people-centred health systems governance approach in the hands of multi-stakeholder committees that govern provincial and district health systems. We report the results of this intervention from three provinces and eleven districts in Afghanistan over a six month period. This mixed-methods exploratory case study uses analysis of governance self-assessment scores, health management information system data on health system performance, and focus group discussions. The outcomes of interest are governance scores and health system performance indicators. We document the application of a people-centred health ...

Feb. 10, 2016 Global Publication

Community Participation in Health Systems Research: A Systematic Review Assessing the State of Research, the Nature of Interventions Involved and the Features of Engagement with Communities


Community participation is a major principle of people centered health systems, with considerable research highlighting its intrinsic value and strategic importance. Existing reviews largely focus on the effectiveness of community participation with less attention to how community participation is supported in health systems intervention research.


To explore the extent, nature and quality of community participation in health systems intervention research in low- and middle-income countries.


We searched for peer-reviewed, English language literature published between January 2000 and May 2012 through four electronic databases. Search terms combined the concepts of community, capability/participation, health systems research and low- and middle-income countries. The initial search yielded 3,092 articles, of which 260 articles with more than nominal community participation were identified and included. We further excluded 104 articles due to lower levels of community participation across the research cycle and poor description of the process of community participation. Out ...

Jan. 9, 2016 Europe Publication

Acute hospitals and integrated care

In March 2015, the King’s Fund published a report regarding the progress made by five acute hospital providers in England towards developing more integrated models of care. According to the report, becoming more closely integrated with primary care has proved a considerable challenge for these hospitals. This is partly due to the lack of alternatives to building relationships on a practice-by-practice basis. As the report explains, GP provider groups or federations “are still at an early stage of development in many areas of the country, and where they do exist it is not always clear that they are sufficiently cohesive to represent local practices and have leverage over them”. 

However, the report identifies a number of factors which facilitate the coordination between hospitals and primary care. These include strong clinical leadership in general practice; employing people with a primary care background at a senior level within the acute provider ...