Health Management

Time to consider the risks of caesarean delivery for long term child health

Time to consider the risks of caesarean delivery for long term child health
BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2410

Jan Blustein and Jianmeng Liu
06/10/2015

Jan Blustein and Jianmeng Liu examine the evidence linking caesarean delivery with childhood chronic disease and say that guidelines on delivery should be reviewed with these risks in mind.

Understanding Pay Differentials Among Health Professionals, Nonprofessionals, And Their Counterparts In Other Sectors

Understanding Pay Differentials Among Health Professionals, Nonprofessionals, And Their Counterparts In Other Sectors
Health Affairs, 34, no.6 (2015):929-935

Sherry Glied, Stephanie Ma and Ivanna Pearlstein
06/09/2015

About half of the $2.1 trillion of US health services spending constitutes compensation to employees. We examined how the wages paid to health-sector employees compared to those paid to workers with similar qualifications in other sectors. Overall, we found that health care workers are paid only slightly more than workers elsewhere in the US economy, but the patterns are starkly different for nonprofessional and professional employees. Nonprofessional health care workers earn slightly less than their counterparts elsewhere in the economy. By contrast, the average nurse earns about 40 percent more than the median comparable worker in a different sector. The average physician earns about 50 percent more than a comparable worker in another sector of the economy, and this differential has increased sharply since 1993. Cost containment is likely to lead to reductions in the earnings of health care professionals, but it will also require using fewer or less skilled employees to produce a given service.

Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress

Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress
Committee on Core Metrics for Better Health at Lower Cost; Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2015.

David Blumenthal, Elizabeth Malphrus, and J. Michael McGinnis (Eds.)
04/28/2015

Thousands of measures are in use today to assess health and health care in the United States. Although many of these measures provide useful information, their sheer number, as well as their lack of focus, consistency, and organization, limits their overall effectiveness in improving performance of the health system. To achieve better health at lower cost, all stakeholders—including health profes­sionals, payers, policy makers, and members of the public—must be alert to the measures that matter most. What are the core measures that will yield the clearest understanding and focus on better health and well-being for Americans?

With support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened a committee to identify core measures for health and health care. In VITAL SIGNS: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress, the committee proposes a streamlined set of 15 standardized mea­sures, with recommendations for their application at every level and across sec­tors. Ultimately, the committee concludes that this streamlined set of measures could provide consistent benchmarks for health progress across the nation and improve system performance in the highest-priority areas.

Supplying Health to the World

Supplying Health to the World
The Medicine Maker, 0315, Article #302.

Privett, N.
04/07/2015

New and improved drugs are released every year to tackle global health needs – and many pharma companies have initiatives to supply those drugs to the developing world. Unfortunately, efforts are wasted without proper supply chain management. Here, we prioritize the top ten challenges.

The Top Ten Global Health Supply Chain Issues: Perspectives from the Field

The Top Ten Global Health Supply Chain Issues: Perspectives from the Field
Operations Research for Health Care. 3(4) 226-230.

Privett, N. and D. Gonsalves
12/01/2014

In the battle for global health, supply chains are often found wanting. Yet most of what is known about in-country pharmaceutical supply chains resides in the experiences of individual stakeholders, with limited amounts of this knowledge captured in technical reports and papers. This short communication taps into the collective experience and wisdom of global health supply chain professionals through interviews and surveys to identify and prioritize the top 10 global health pharmaceutical supply chain challenges: (1) lack of coordination, (2) inventory management, (3) absent demand information, (4) human resource dependency, (5) order management, (6) shortage avoidance, (7) expiration, (8) warehouse management, (9) temperature control, and (10) shipment visibility. As such, this work contributes to the foundational knowledge of global health pharmaceutical supply chains. These challenges must be addressed by researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike if global pharmaceutical supply chains are to be developed and improved in emerging regions of the world.

Connecting the Dots: Interprofessional Health Education and Delivery System Redesign at the Veterans Health Administration

Connecting the Dots: Interprofessional Health Education and Delivery System Redesign at the Veterans Health Administration
Academic Medicine, Vol. 89, no. 8, pp. 1113-1116. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000312

Gilman, S.C., D. Chokshi, J.L. Bowen, K.W. Rugen, and M. Cox
08/01/2014

Health systems around the United States are embracing new models of primary care using interprofessional team-based approaches in pursuit of better patient outcomes, higher levels of satisfaction among patients and providers, and improved overall value. Less often discussed are the implications of new models of care for health professions education, including education for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other professions engaged in primary care. Described here is the interaction between care transformation and redesign of health professions education at the largest integrated delivery system in the United States: the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Challenges and lessons learned are discussed in the context of a demonstration initiative, the VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education. Five sites, involving VA medical centers and their academic affiliates in Boise, Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, and West Haven, introduced interprofessional primary care curricula for resident physicians and nurse practitioner students beginning in 2011. Implementation struggles largely revolved around the operational logistics and cultural disruption of integrating educational redesign for medicine and nursing and facilitating the interface between educational and clinical activities. To realize new models for interprofessional teaching, faculty, staff, and trainees must understand the histories, traditions, and program requirements across professions and experiment with new approaches to achieving a common goal. Key recommendations for redesign of health professions education revolve around strengthening the union between interprofessional learning, team-based practice, and high-value care.

What Passes and Fails as Health Policy and Management

What Passes and Fails as Health Policy and Management
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Vol. 39, No. 5, October 2014 DOI 10.1215/03616878-2813719

Rodwin, Victor G. and David Chinitz
07/18/2014

The field of health policy and management (HPAM) faces a gap between theory, policy and practice. Despite decades of efforts at reforming health policy and health care systems, prominent analysts state that the health system is ‘‘stuck’’ and that models for change remain ‘‘aspirational.’’ We discuss four reasons for the failure of current ideas and models for redesigning health care: (1) the dominance of microeconomic thinking; (2) the lack of comparative studies of health care organizations and the limits of health management theory in recognizing the importance of local contexts; (3) the separation of HPAM from the rank and file of health care, particularly physicians; and (4) the failure to expose medical students to issues of HPAM. We conclude with suggestions for rethinking how the field of HPAM might generate more promising policies for health care providers and managers by abandoning the illusion of context-free theories and, instead, seeking to facilitate the processes by which organizations can learn to improve their own performance.

Are hospitals “keeping up with the Joneses”?: Assessing the spatial and temporal diffusion of the surgical robot

Are hospitals “keeping up with the Joneses”?: Assessing the spatial and temporal diffusion of the surgical robot
Healthcare : the Journal of Delivery Science & Innovation, Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 152-157. DOI: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2013.10.002

Li, H., M.H. Gail, B.R. Scott, H.T. Gold, D. Walter, D, M. Liu, C.P. Gross, and D.V. Makarov
07/01/2014

Background: The surgical robot has been widely adopted in the United States in spite of its high cost and controversy surrounding its benefit. Some have suggested that a “medical arms race” influences technology adoption. We wanted to determine whether a hospital would acquire a surgical robot if its nearest neighboring hospital already owned one.

Methods: We identified 554 hospitals performing radical prostatectomy from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statewide Inpatient Databases for seven states. We used publicly available data from the website of the surgical robot's sole manufacturer (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) combined with data collected from the hospitals to ascertain the timing of robot acquisition during year 2001 to 2008. One hundred thirty four hospitals (24%) had acquired a surgical robot by the end of 2008. We geocoded the address of each hospital and determined a hospital's likelihood to acquire a surgical robot based on whether its nearest neighbor owned a surgical robot. We developed a Markov chain method to model the acquisition process spatially and temporally and quantified the “neighborhood effect” on the acquisition of the surgical robot while adjusting simultaneously for known confounders.

Results: After adjusting for hospital teaching status, surgical volume, urban status and number of hospital beds, the Markov chain analysis demonstrated that a hospital whose nearest neighbor had acquired a surgical robot had a higher likelihood itself acquiring a surgical robot (OR=1.71, 95% CI: 1.07–2.72, p=0.02).

Conclusion: There is a significant spatial and temporal association for hospitals acquiring surgical robots during the study period. Hospitals were more likely to acquire a surgical robot during the robot's early adoption phase if their nearest neighbor had already done so.

Determinants of the Availability of Hepatitis C Testing Services in Opioid Treatment Programs: Results From a National Study

Determinants of the Availability of Hepatitis C Testing Services in Opioid Treatment Programs: Results From a National Study
American Journal of Public Health, 2014 (June), 104(6): 75-82. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301827

Frimpong, J.A., D’Aunno, T. & Jiang, L.
06/17/2014

OBJECTIVES: We examined trends and organizational-level correlates of the availability of HCV testing in opioid treatment programs.

METHODS: We used generalized ordered logit models to examine associations between organizational characteristics of 383 opioid treatment programs from the 2005 and 2011 National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey and HCV testing availability.

RESULTS: Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of opioid treatment programs offering HCV testing increased but largely because of increases in off-site referrals rather than on-site testing. HCV testing availability was higher in opioid treatment programs affiliated with a hospital and those receiving federal funds. Opioid treatment programs providing both methadone and buprenorphine were more likely to offer any HCV testing, whereas opioid treatment programs providing only buprenorphine treatment were less likely to offer on-site testing. HCV testing availability was associated with more favorable staff-to-client ratios.

CONCLUSIONS: The increasing use of off-site referrals for HCV testing in opioid treatment programs likely limits opportunities for case finding, prevention, and treatment. Declines in federal funding for opioid treatment programs may be a key determinant of the availability of HCV testing in opioid treatment programs.

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