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4.
J Cancer Policy ; 29: 100297, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322196

ABSTRACT

Policymakers everywhere struggle to introduce therapeutic innovation while controlling costs, a particular challenge for the universal Italian National Healthcare System (SSN), which spends only 8.8% of GDP to care for one of the world's oldest populations. Oncology provides a telling example, where innovation has dramatically improved care and survival, transforming cancer into a chronic condition. However, innovation has also increased therapy duration, adverse event management, and service demand. The SSN risks collapse unless centralized cancer planning changes gear, particularly with Covid-19 causing treatment delays, worsening patient prognosis and straining capacity. In view of the 750 billion Euro "Next Generation EU", released by the European Union to relieve Member States hit by the pandemic, the SSN tapped a multidisciplinary research team to identify key strategies for equitable uptake of innovations in treatment and delivery, with emphasis on data-driven technological and managerial advancements - and lessons from Covid-19.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Planning/organization & administration , Neoplasms/therapy , Community Health Services , Community Networks , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Primary Health Care , Reimbursement Mechanisms , Telemedicine
10.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(12): 1570-1575, 2020 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the 2019 Hajj, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia implemented for the first time a health early warning system for rapid detection and response to health threats. AIMS: This study aimed to describe the early warning findings at the Hajj to highlight the pattern of health risks and the potential benefits of the disease surveillance system. METHODS: Using syndromic surveillance and event-based surveillance data, the health early warning system generated automated alarms for public health events, triggered alerts for rapid epidemiological investigations and facilitated the monitoring of health events. RESULTS: During the deployment period (4 July-31 August 2019), a total of 121 automated alarms were generated, of which 2 events (heat-related illnesses and injuries/trauma) were confirmed by the response teams. CONCLUSION: The surveillance system potentially improved the timeliness and situational awareness for health events, including non-infectious threats. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, a health early warning system could enhance case detection and facilitate monitoring of the disease geographical spread and the effectiveness of control measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Islam , Public Health Administration/methods , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Crowding , Health Planning/organization & administration , Humans , Mass Behavior , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Travel
11.
Lancet Glob Health ; 8(9): e1142-e1151, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-981693

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in India and other parts of the world. Despite the Indian Government's efforts to contain the disease in the affected districts, cases have been reported in 627 (98%) of 640 districts. There is a need to devise a tool for district-level planning and prioritisation and effective allocation of resources. Based on publicly available data, this study reports a vulnerability index for identification of vulnerable regions in India on the basis of population and infrastructural characteristics. METHODS: We computed a composite index of vulnerability at the state and district levels based on 15 indicators across the following five domains: socioeconomic, demographic, housing and hygiene, epidemiological, and health system. We used a percentile ranking method to compute both domain-specific and overall vulnerability and presented results spatially with number of positive COVID-19 cases in districts. FINDINGS: A number of districts in nine large states-Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, and Gujarat-located in every region of the country except the northeast, were found to have high overall vulnerability (index value more than 0·75). These states also had high vulnerability according to most of the five domains. Although our intention was not to predict the risk of infection for a district or a state, we observed similarities between vulnerability and the current concentration of COVID-19 cases at the state level. However, this relationship was not clear at the district level. INTERPRETATION: The vulnerability index presented in this paper identified a number of vulnerable districts in India, which currently do not have large numbers of COVID-19 cases but could be strongly impacted by the epidemic. Our index aims to help planners and policy makers effectively prioritise regions for resource allocation and adopt risk mitigation strategies for better preparedness and responses to the COVID-19 epidemic. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Vulnerable Populations , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Care Rationing/organization & administration , Health Planning/organization & administration , Health Priorities/organization & administration , Humans , India/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Risk Assessment/methods
13.
Am J Public Health ; 110(11): 1678-1686, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-902177

ABSTRACT

The US public health community has demonstrated increasing awareness of rural health disparities in the past several years. Although current interest is high, the topic is not new, and some of the earliest public health literature includes reports on infectious disease and sanitation in rural places. Continuing through the first third of the 20th century, dozens of articles documented rural disparities in infant and maternal mortality, sanitation and water safety, health care access, and among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Current rural research reveals similar challenges, and strategies suggested for addressing rural-urban health disparities 100 years ago resonate today. This article examines rural public health literature from a century ago and its connections to contemporary rural health disparities. We describe parallels between current and historical rural public health challenges and discuss how strategies proposed in the early 20th century may inform current policy and practice. As we explore the new frontier of rural public health, it is critical to consider enduring rural challenges and how to ensure that proposed solutions translate into actual health improvements. (Am J Public Health. 2020;110:1678-1686. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305868).


Subject(s)
Public Health/history , Rural Health/history , Child Health/history , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Community Participation/history , Community Participation/methods , Health Planning/history , Health Planning/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/history , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Status Disparities , History, 20th Century , Humans , Maternal Health/history , Nurses, Public Health/history , Nurses, Public Health/organization & administration , Politics
15.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 75(3): 209-212, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842437

ABSTRACT

This paper reflects concerns that funding and attention should be expanded from the important focus on those suffering and dying from COVID-19, and the safety and resources of healthcare professionals, to address wider questions on the (unequal) health and well-being impacts of COVID-19 and associated response measures. While immediate priorities such as those outlined in the WHO research agenda are undoubtedly important, additional urgent questions must be addressed. These include questions focused on (1) the non-virus impacts of preparing health and social care systems to cope with COVID-19 and (2) the health effects mediated by the educational, economic and social injuries sustained during the pandemic. Long-term, sustained and co-ordinated interdisciplinary research funding will be needed to address the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 and its response measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Planning/organization & administration , Health Policy , Health Services Research/organization & administration , Healthcare Disparities , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel , Humans , Population Health , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Class
17.
Br J Ophthalmol ; 105(6): 745-750, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676375

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has impacted all aspects of clinical practice in the UK. Cataract services suffered severe disruption due to necessary measures taken to reduce elective surgery in order to release capacity to support intensive care requirements. Faced with a potential 50% increase in cataract surgery workload per week in the post-COVID-19 world, eye units should use this event to innovate, not just survive but to also evolve for a sustainable future. In this article, we discuss the inadequacies of existing service rationing options to tackle the COVID-19 cataract backlog. This includes limiting rationing based on visual acuity, limiting surgery to first or only seeing eyes, and postponing clinic and surgical dates according to referral dates. We propose units use the lockdown time to reset and develop a comprehensive patient-centred care pathway using principles of value-based healthcare: the cataract integrated practice units. Developing an agile surgical database that incorporates all aspects of patient need from education to follow-up in their individual cataract journey will allow units to react and plan quickly in the early phase of recovery and beyond. We also discuss the considerations units should bear in mind on telemedicine, modifications for face-to-face clinics, theatre organisation and options of expanding cataract throughput capacity. The pause in elective surgery due to the pandemic may have provided cataract services a rare opportunity to reset and transform cataract service pathways for the digital era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cataract Extraction , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Care Rationing/organization & administration , Health Care Rationing/statistics & numerical data , Health Planning/organization & administration , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ophthalmology/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Referral and Consultation , State Medicine/organization & administration , State Medicine/trends , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom , Waiting Lists
19.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 18(1): 80, 2020 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646568

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex global public health crisis presenting clinical, organisational and system-wide challenges. Different research perspectives on health are needed in order to manage and monitor this crisis. Performance intelligence is an approach that emphasises the need for different research perspectives in supporting health systems' decision-makers to determine policies based on well-informed choices. In this paper, we present the viewpoint of the Innovative Training Network for Healthcare Performance Intelligence Professionals (HealthPros) on how performance intelligence can be used during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. DISCUSSION: A lack of standardised information, paired with limited discussion and alignment between countries contribute to uncertainty in decision-making in all countries. Consequently, a plethora of different non-data-driven and uncoordinated approaches to address the outbreak are noted worldwide. Comparative health system research is needed to help countries shape their response models in social care, public health, primary care, hospital care and long-term care through the different phases of the pandemic. There is a need in each phase to compare context-specific bundles of measures where the impact on health outcomes can be modelled using targeted data and advanced statistical methods. Performance intelligence can be pursued to compare data, construct indicators and identify optimal strategies. Embracing a system perspective will allow countries to take coordinated strategic decisions while mitigating the risk of system collapse.A framework for the development and implementation of performance intelligence has been outlined by the HealthPros Network and is of pertinence. Health systems need better and more timely data to govern through a pandemic-induced transition period where tensions between care needs, demand and capacity are exceptionally high worldwide. Health systems are challenged to ensure essential levels of healthcare towards all patients, including those who need routine assistance. CONCLUSION: Performance intelligence plays an essential role as part of a broader public health strategy in guiding the decisions of health system actors on the implementation of contextualised measures to tackle COVID-19 or any future epidemic as well as their effect on the health system at large. This should be based on commonly agreed-upon standardised data and fit-for-purpose indicators, making optimal use of existing health information infrastructures. The HealthPros Network can make a meaningful contribution.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Planning/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Global Health , Government Programs , Health Policy , Health Services Research/organization & administration , Humans , International Cooperation , Medical Informatics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Am Psychol ; 75(7): 875-886, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-598908

ABSTRACT

This article proposes a framework for managing the behavioral health impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This framework aligns and should be integrated with an existing public health pandemic intervals model. It includes six phases of a behavioral health pandemic response strategy: preplanning, response readiness, response mobilization, intervention, continuation, and amelioration. The ways behavioral health specialists can capitalize on their competence in the leadership, prevention, education, service, research, and advocacy domains within each behavioral health pandemic response phase are articulated. Behavioral health expertise can help ensure a more comprehensive, effective pandemic response that facilitates the flattening of the curve of disease spread, along with the corresponding emotional distress curve. A case illustration, the Caring Communities (CC) initiative, is offered as an exemplar of action steps in the leadership, prevention, education, service, research, and advocacy domains that behavioral health professionals can take within each of the behavioral health pandemic response phases. Key CC action steps include providing support groups, offering virtual wellness breaks, participating in educational outreach, creating and disseminating wellness guides, launching and leading a virtual behavioral health clinic for health care staff, participating in behavioral health research and program evaluation, and engaging in advocacy initiatives aimed at improving behavioral health care and addressing and reducing health disparities. Finally, recommendations for optimizing behavioral health contributions to future pandemic responses are proffered. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Health Planning/organization & administration , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Psychological Distress , Public Health , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control
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