Practices

Learn from real-life experiences with health services reform. We distinguish three types: emerging, promising and leading practices. Share your practice by clicking "Add practice".

Sept. 7, 2016 Europe

Developing an integrated information system in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The Ministry of Health designed and implemented a web-based appointment platform to streamline information flows and reduce artificially-inflated waiting times. Additional features, such as e-referral and e-prescription applications, have since been incorporated into the information system; a comprehensive investigation at the beginning of the initiative supported the development of an informed solution to directly address key challenges; alignment with previous investments in technological infrastructure enabled rapid uptake of the new information system by providers and more economical use of existing resources; an effective communication plan, including public campaigns and efforts to gain public trust, helped ensure widespread uptake of the ...

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Sept. 7, 2016 Europe

Developing a national cancer plan to coordinate the fight against cancer in Luxembourg

A national cancer plan was developed by the Ministry of Health to unite current services and coordinate the fight against cancer; ten priority areas for action were identified by the initiative: governance, health promotion, prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitation, resources, patients’ rights and research; strong government commitment was essential for realizing a coordinated national approach; involving a diverse range of stakeholders from the beginning helped to guide the initiative; implementation of the national cancer plan is still in the early phases and any improvements will take time to observe.

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Sept. 6, 2016 Europe

Defining and standardizing primary care in Georgia

Government reforms aiming to establish universal health care, increase state involvement in the health system and strengthen regulation have been introduced; articulating a clear government vision ensured a strong foundation on which to build reforms; learning from previous experiences and seeking expertise from international partners helped the initiative avoid potential difficulties; inclusion of stakeholders in the design process helped build local consensus for change; following the strategy development process, detailed plans were drawn up to guide proposed reforms.

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Sept. 6, 2016 Europe

Developing an integrated e-health system in Croatia to drive care improvements

An electronic Central Health Information System (CEZIH) was introduced by the government to connect stakeholders and provide real-time data on patients and providers; a strong government commitment and top-down leadership established the necessary conditions for the widespread adoption of e-health; data collected through the e-health system helped drive performance improvements; a new payment model for primary care providers was introduced and realigned financial incentives encouraged positive changes in clinical practice; ongoing trainings supported providers to uptake and capitalize on new technologies; a patient e-portal helped engage patients in their own care.

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Sept. 6, 2016 Europe

Shifting towards community-oriented mental health care in Belgium

Changes to legislation, policy and care guidelines at the national level guided mental health reform and government funding was made available to promote the implementation of local community mental health projects aligned with the new national vision for mental health; top-down support for bottom-up ideas ensured both the necessary resources and local ownership needed to optimize mental health reform; a supportive legislative framework helped solidify a common vision for mental health reform, providing a unified focus for local efforts to align with; space for experimentation in the delivery of mental health care was allowed for, motivating locally-adapted projects and sparking ...

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Sept. 6, 2016 Europe

Strengthening prenatal and obstetric care in Belarus

Improving maternal and child health was established as a key government priority. Strong top-down support for change reinforced by legislation provided a guiding framework for transformations; Investigation into key challenges leading to a strong understanding of root causes ensured health reforms responded to needs; prenatal screening recommendations were developed and changes to resource distribution, provider training and incentives were implemented to promote uptake and adherence to new guidelines; financial incentives for patients helped encourage desired participation in prenatal care by women; service delivery reforms took time and adoption of a long-term vision was needed.

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Sept. 6, 2016 Europe

Comprehensive health system reform to improve health in Azerbaijan

A health sector reform project was launched by the Government of Azerbaijan with the financial and technical support of the World Bank, leading to the adoption of a comprehensive National Master Plan for health in 2008; a strong understanding of the political context and environment proved important in determining an acceptable pace for proposed reforms; top-down leadership from the Ministry of Health ensured national ownership over internationally-supported reforms; strengthening the stewardship capacity of the Ministry was important; investment in human resources, including formalizing medical training and developing new medical specializations, was critical to driving sustainable change.

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Aug. 30, 2016 Europe

Establishing a unified emergency medical service in Latvia

Latvia’s 39 separate emergency service organizations were merged to form the single, centralized State Emergency Medical Service; implementing a unified structure for the provision of prehospital emergency medical services reduced fragmentation, standardized care and improved the coordination of services; formalizing provider training and education embedded new practices as the professional norm and helped ensure high-quality care delivery according to the guidelines in place; strong national leadership, along with a clear narrative and communication plan, helped gain stakeholder support for the initiative; widespread population support was secured by making services available free of charge.

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Aug. 30, 2016 Europe

Introducing compassionate use treatment for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Armenia

Compassionate use TB treatment with the experimental drug Bedaquiline was introduced by MSF in partnership with the Government of Armenia to expand treatment options available to XDR-TB patients; MSF’s prior experience of compassionate use initiatives in other contexts supported the initiative’s effective implementation and provided an immediate solution to the lack of available treatment options; donor support and a close partnership with the Ministry of Health allowed initial barriers, including the lack of a comprehensive legal framework, to be overcome; closely aligning reforms with ongoing programmes reduced the investment needed in new infrastructure and helped secure greater professional ...

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June 24, 2016 Europe

Developing an integrated e-health system in Estonia

A system-wide electronic health information system was introduced by the government and a national e-health foundation was established to guide change; development of e-health aligned with a broader government information strategy, enabling change and motivating necessary political support; early introduction of legislation provided a clear framework for activities and the Estonian Health Information System Development Plan 2005–2008 mapped out the change process; legislation coupled with aligned incentives encouraged widespread uptake of e-health by providers; partnerships with the private sector, universities and research organizations helped drive innovation; features of the electronic system (including electronic medical records, digital imaging, e-prescriptions and ...

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