SciCombinator

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Concept: Healthcare

212

To explore the impact of patient education on the lives of people with diabetes, including the effect on interactions with doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Concepts: Health, Managed care, Healthcare, Physician, Health care, Patient, Illness, Health care provider

205

The United States spends $361 billion annually on health care administration - more than twice our total spending on heart disease and three times our spending on cancer. But the experience of other industries shows how to realize large savings rapidly.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Barack Obama, Massachusetts, Healthcare, Health care, United States, Health economics, Medicine

178

Problems of quality and safety persist in health systems worldwide. We conducted a large research programme to examine culture and behaviour in the English National Health Service (NHS).

Concepts: English Canadian, Health care, English people, Healthcare, England, Health economics, Medicine, National Health Service

169

BACKGROUND: Research on practical and effective governance of the health workforce is limited. This paper examines health system strengthening as it occurs in the intersection between the health workforce and governance by presenting a framework to examine health workforce issues related to eight governance principles: strategic vision, accountability, transparency, information, efficiency, equity/fairness, responsiveness and citizen voice and participation. METHODS: This study builds off of a literature review that informed the development of a framework that describes linkages and assigns indicators between governance and the health workforce. A qualitative analysis of Health System Assessment (HSA) data, a rapid indicator-based methodology that determines the key strengths and weaknesses of a health system using a set of internationally recognized indicators, was completed to determine how 20 low- and middle-income countries are operationalizing health governance to improve health workforce performance.Results/discussion: The 20 countries assessed showed mixed progress in implementing the eight governance principles. Strengths highlighted include increasing the transparency of financial flows from sources to providers by implementing and institutionalizing the National Health Accounts methodology; increasing responsiveness to population health needs by training new cadres of health workers to address shortages and deliver care to remote and rural populations; having structures in place to register and provide licensure to medical professionals upon entry into the public sector; and implementing pilot programs that apply financial and non-financial incentives as a means to increase efficiency. Common weaknesses emerging in the HSAs include difficulties with developing, implementing and evaluating health workforce policies that outline a strategic vision for the health workforce; implementing continuous licensure and regulation systems to hold health workers accountable after they enter the workforce; and making use of health information systems to acquire data from providers and deliver it to policymakers. CONCLUSIONS: The breadth of challenges facing the health workforce requires strengthening health governance as well as human resource systems in order to effect change in the health system. Further research into the effectiveness of specific interventions that enhance the link between the health workforce and governance are warranted to determine approaches to strengthening the health system.

Concepts: Health economics, Healthcare, Health care provider, Health informatics, Accountability, Governance, Medicine, Health care

168

BACKGROUND: Skilled attendants during labor, delivery, and in the early postpartum period, can prevent up to 75% or more of maternal death. However, in many developing countries, very few mothers make at least one antenatal visit and even less receive delivery care from skilled professionals. The present study reports findings from a region where key challenges related to transportation and availability of obstetric services were addressed by an ongoing project, giving a unique opportunity to understand why women might continue to prefer home delivery even when facility based delivery is available at minimal cost. METHODS: The study took place in Ethiopia using a mixed study design employing a cross sectional household survey among 15–49 year old women combined with in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. RESULTS: Seventy one percent of mothers received antenatal care from a health professional (doctor, health officer, nurse, or midwife) for their most recent birth in the one year preceding the survey. Overall only 16% of deliveries were assisted by health professionals, while a significant majority (78%) was attended by traditional birth attendants. The most important reasons for not seeking institutional delivery were the belief that it is not necessary (42%) and not customary (36%), followed by high cost (22%) and distance or lack of transportation (8%). The group discussions and interviews identified several reasons for the preference of traditional birth attendants over health facilities. Traditional birth attendants were seen as culturally acceptable and competent health workers. Women reported poor quality of care and previous negative experiences with health facilities. In addition, women’s low awareness on the advantages of skilled attendance at delivery, little role in making decisions (even when they want), and economic constraints during referral contribute to the low level of service utilization. CONCLUSIONS: The study indicated the crucial role of proper health care provider-client communication and providing a more client centered and culturally sensitive care if utilization of existing health facilities is to be maximized. Implications of findings for maternal health programs and further research are discussed.

Concepts: Home birth, Medicine, Midwifery, Healthcare, Health care provider, Health care, Obstetrics, Childbirth

167

Although North American hospitals are switching from tuberculin testing (TST) to interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), data are limited on the association between occupational exposure and serial QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT) results in healthcare workers (HCWs).

Concepts: Alaska, United States, Health insurance, Patient, Healthcare, North America, Health care provider, Health care

158

The economic and fiscal crisis of 2008 has erupted into the debate on the sustainability of health systems; some countries, such as Spain, have implemented strong policies of fiscal consolidation and austerity. The institutional framework and governance model of the national health system (NHS) after its devolution to regions in 2002 had significant weaknesses, which were not apparent in the rapid growth stage but which have been clearly visible since 2010. In this article, we describe the changes in government regulation from the national and NHS perspective: both general changes (clearly prompted by the economic authorities), and those more specifically addressed to healthcare. The Royal Decree-Law 16/2012 represents the centerpiece of austerity policies in healthcare but also implies a rupture with existing political consensus and a return to social security models. Our characterization of austerity in healthcare explores impacts on savings, services, and on the healthcare model itself, although the available information only allows some indications. The conclusions highlight the need to change the path of linear, rapid and radical budget cuts, providing a time-frame for implementing key reforms in terms of internal sustainability; to do so, it is appropriate to restore political and institutional consensus, to emphasize «clinical management» and divestment of inappropriate services (approach to the medical profession and its role as micro-manager), and to create frameworks of good governance and organizational innovations that support these structural reforms.

Concepts: Healthcare, Social security, Implementation, Investment, Health economics, Universal health care, Law, Medicine

149

We have a duty to use fetal tissue for research and therapy. This statement might seem extreme in light of recent events that have reopened a seemingly long-settled debate over whether such research ought even be permitted, let alone funded by the government. Morality and conscience have been cited to justify defunding, and even criminalizing, the research, just as morality and conscience have been cited to justify not only health care professionals' refusal to provide certain legal medical services to their patients but even their obstruction of others' fulfillment of that duty. But this duty of care should, I believe, . . .

Concepts: Health science, Law, Healthcare, Health, Illness, Health care provider, Medicine, Health care

148

Achieving a fair and equitable distribution of health in the population while progressing toward universal health coverage (UHC) is a key focus of health policy in Vietnam. This paper describes health barriers experienced by women (and children by inference) in Vietnam, and measures how UHC, with reference to maternal health services and child mortality rates, is affected by selected social determinants of health (SDH), termed ‘barriers’.

Concepts: Healthcare, Mortality rate, Health care, Illness, Public health, Health economics, Demography, Medicine

148

Male involvement in maternal health is recommended as one of the interventions to improve maternal and newborn health. There have been challenges in realising this action, partly due to the position of men in society and partly due to health system challenges in accommodating men. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the effect of Home Based Life Saving Skills training by community health workers on improving male involvement in maternal health in terms of knowledge of danger signs, joint decision-making, birth preparedness, and escorting wives to antenatal and delivery care in a rural community in Tanzania.

Concepts: Medicine, Improve, Healthcare, Obstetrics, Gender, Health care, Infant, Childbirth