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Quality of care in Israel and beyond

This thematic series in Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (IJHPR) considers quality of care not just in Israel but internationally. Health care systems around the world are intensively engaged in efforts to monitor and improve the quality of care. Empirical studies and scholarly publication have played a central role in these efforts. Israel has been an active participant in these world-wide efforts. Its system for monitoring the quality of care in community-based services covers all of Israel's citizens and is among the most advanced in the world. That effort is supported by the sophisticated information systems of Israel's health plans, which also provide a fertile ground for additional types of quality monitoring and evaluation.

In the hospital arena, until recently, Israel's quality monitoring effort was less well-developed. However, five years ago the Ministry of Health initiated hospital monitoring efforts as well. Since then, rapid progress has been made, with almost all Israeli hospitals participating in international accreditation processes, and nation-wide systems being put into place to monitor clinical quality. In both hospital and community settings, there is an ongoing exchange of ideas between Israel and other countries. In both settings, the issue of sharing information on quality with the general public is increasingly coming to the fore, and here too, Israel is simultaneously learning from the international experience and contributing to it.

Israeli studies of quality of care have been, and continue to be, published in such established journals as the BMJ, Health Services Research, Health Affairs, and the International Journal for Quality in Health Care. At the same time, IJHPR is emerging as an important vehicle for exploring the policy implications of Israeli efforts to improve quality and for facilitating cross-national learning in this area.

This article collection brings together, in a convenient setting, the IJHPR articles published to date on quality of care, broadly defined. We look forward to seeing this collection grow over the coming years.

  1. Original research article

    The effect of ‘Out of hours surgery Service’ in Israel on hip fracture fixation outcomes: a retrospective analysis

    ‘Out of Hours Surgery Service’ (OHSS) was implemented in Israel, amongst other reasons, in order to reduce the time interval between hospital admission and surgery and consequently improve outcomes. The OHSS i...

    Yaniv Keren, Sybil Sailofsky, Doron Keshet and Michal Barak

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:27

    Published on: 15 July 2017

  2. Commentary

    Out of hospital Cardio-pulmonary arrest - Is there a role for the primary healthcare teams?

    Out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The survival rates are poor and even more frustrating are the rates of neurologically favorable outcomes at hospital disc...

    Shlomo Vinker

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:36

    Published on: 28 June 2017

    The original article was published in Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:22

  3. Commentary

    Targeted approaches to improve outcomes for highest-cost patients

    Bash and colleagues, using data from Maccabi Healthcare Services, have documented increased cost and utilization attributable to patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). The CHF patients were older than t...

    Adam J. Rose

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:25

    Published on: 7 June 2017

  4. Original research article

    Comprehensive healthcare resource use among newly diagnosed congestive heart failure

    Congestive heart failure (CHF) is among the most common causes of hospital admissions and readmissions in the Western world. However, the burden of ambulatory care has not been as well investigated. The object...

    Lori D. Bash, Dahlia Weitzman, Robert O. Blaustein, Ofer Sharon, Varda Shalev and Gabriel Chodick

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:26

    Published on: 5 June 2017

  5. Commentary

    Finding “truth” across different data sources

    The proliferation of new technology platforms and tools is dramatically advancing our ability to capture, integrate and use clinical and other health related data for research and care. Another critical and in...

    Alison Rein and Lisa A. Simpson

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:14

    Published on: 21 March 2017

    The original article was published in Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2016 5:50

  6. Commentary

    Medical care epidemiology and unwarranted variation: the Israeli case

    In an article in this Journal, Mendlovic and colleagues report on regional variation in medical care across Israeli regions. This study joins a growing literature demonstrating generally high variation in the ...

    David C. Goodman and Andrew A. Goodman

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2017 6:9

    Published on: 20 February 2017

  7. Original research article

    Introducing a change in hospital policy using FMEA methodology as a tool to reduce patient hazards

    Intravenous potassium chloride (IV KCl) solutions are widely used in hospitals for treatment of hypokalemia. As ampoules of concentrated KCL must be diluted before use, critical incidents have been associated ...

    Fanny Ofek, Racheli Magnezi, Yaffa Kurzweil, Inbal Gazit, Sofia Berkovitch and Orna Tal

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2016 5:30

    Published on: 1 November 2016

  8. Original research article

    The impact of facility characteristics on the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes: a cross-sectional study

    Antipsychotic medications (APMs) are commonly prescribed in nursing homes (NHs) and their excessive use raises concerns about the quality of care. They are often seen as “chemical restraints”, and were shown t...

    Dvora Frankenthal, Gisele Zandman-Goddard, Yael Ben-Muvhar and Bat Sheva Porat-Katz

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2016 5:12

    Published on: 16 March 2016

  9. Commentary

    Procedures in pediatric primary care: first do no harm

    Two important considerations arise from this IJHPR article from Zimmerman and colleagues. First, is the question regarding what can be considered a “common” procedure in primary care and whether the designatio...

    Gary L. Freed

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:57

    Published on: 10 December 2015

  10. Original research article

    Organizational factors affecting length of stay in the emergency department: initial observational study

    Length of stay (LOS) is considered a key measure of emergency department throughput, and from the perspective of the patient, it is perceived as a measure of healthcare service quality. Prolonged LOS can be ca...

    Osnat Bashkin, Sigalit Caspi, Rachel Haligoa, Sari Mizrahi and Ruth Stalnikowicz

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:38

    Published on: 15 October 2015

  11. Commentary

    Highly reliable behaviors

    A lack of respect between nursing and medical disciplines can lead to a lack of trust and disruptive behaviors that are a significant part of the culture of health care today. In order to ensure the best care ...

    Erin S. DuPree

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:51

    Published on: 29 September 2015

  12. Original research article

    Better together: a community- hospital integrative model of healthcare as a practical solution for providing excellence in endocrinology care in an era of limited resources

    The demand for endocrinology services is growing worldwide, particularly among minority and underserved populations, mainly due to the rapid global increase of diabetes. The medical education of endocrinologis...

    Anat Jaffe, Aviva Yoselis and Liana Tripto-Shkolnik

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:28

    Published on: 1 July 2015

  13. Commentary

    In the digital world of the EMR, Open Notes change everything

    EMR use during medical visits has been found to distract physicians and negatively influence their ability to deliver patient-centered care. In this issue, Assis-Hassid and colleagues propose a redress of this...

    Debra L Roter

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:17

    Published on: 31 March 2015

  14. Original research article

    Enhancing patient-doctor-computer communication in primary care: towards measurement construction

    The traditional dyadic dynamics of the medical encounter has been altered into a triadic relationship by introducing the computer into the examination room. This study defines Patient-Doctor-Computer Communica...

    Shiri Assis-Hassid, Iris Reychav, Tsipi Heart, Joseph S Pliskin and Shmuel Reis

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:4

    Published on: 23 February 2015

  15. Commentary

    High performance team-based care for persons with chronic conditions

    Care for patients with complex chronic conditions such as diabetes requires a coordinated and collaborative team working in partnership with the patient. Israel has taken important steps forward with the devel...

    Stephen C Schoenbaum and Sally Okun

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2015 4:8

    Published on: 19 February 2015

  16. Commentary

    Spiritual care in Israel: the future is now

    Spiritual care is a relatively new healthcare discipline in Israel. It has evolved over the past decade through the collaboration of multiple Israeli healthcare professionals, with assistance from interested p...

    Barry M Kinzbrunner and Bryan D Kinzbrunner

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2014 3:32

    Published on: 29 September 2014

  17. Commentary

    Implementing practice guidelines: easier said than done

    Implementation of practice guidelines is a beguilingly complex activity that requires attention to the task of clinicians, the constraints they face, and the social practice of medicine. Local clinical opinion...

    Saul N Weingart

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2014 3:20

    Published on: 20 June 2014

  18. Integrative article

    Participation of National Medical Associations in quality improvement activities - International comparison and the Israeli case

    Many countries have devoted considerable efforts in an attempt to improve the performance of their health care systems. National Medical Associations (NMAs), along with other stakeholders, play a part in the p...

    Baruch Levi, Malke Borow and Michelle Glekin

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2014 3:14

    Published on: 25 April 2014

  19. Original research article

    Role of intervention programs to increase influenza vaccination in Israel

    Influenza vaccination is the most efficient and cost-effective method to prevent influenza. To increase vaccination coverage, health authorities use various intervention programs (IPs), such as cost subsidies ...

    Dan Yamin, Arieh Gavious, Nadav Davidovitch and Joseph S Pliskin

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2014 3:13

    Published on: 25 April 2014

  20. Original research article

    Performance of aseptic technique during neuraxial analgesia for labor before and after the publication of international guidelines on aseptic technique

    Aseptic technique and handwashing have been shown to be important factors in perioperative bacterial transmission, however compliance often remains low despite guidelines and educational programs. Infectious c...

    Alex Ioscovich, Elyad M Davidson, Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Zvia Rudich, Simon Ivry, Laura J Rosen, Alexander Avidan and Yehuda Ginosar

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2014 3:9

    Published on: 25 March 2014

  21. Commentary

    Improving health outcomes: innovation, coverage, quality and adherence

    The Israeli health system has made considerable progress in reducing deaths amenable to medical care but has more to do. This commentary describes how progress in this area results from innovation, coverage, q...

    Martin McKee and Clara K Chow

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:43

    Published on: 25 October 2012

  22. Commentary

    Physicians’ views of performance reports: grading the graders

    Quality measurement and feedback programs have become widespread and are looked upon as a cornerstone of quality improvement efforts. Often, such programs are used to motivate consumer choice through public re...

    Bruce E Landon

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:27

    Published on: 20 June 2012

  23. Original research article

    The association between continuity of care in the community and health outcomes: a population-based study

    The study goal was to assess indices of continuity of care in the primary care setting and their association with health outcomes and healthcare services utilization, given the reported importance of continuit...

    Jacob Dreiher, Doron S Comaneshter, Yael Rosenbluth, Erez Battat, Haim Bitterman and Arnon D Cohen

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:21

    Published on: 23 May 2012

  24. Commentary

    Continuity of care: important, but only the first step

    Continuity of care is critical to achieving the best outcomes, especially for patients with chronic conditions. Israel’s strong commitment to primary care as a central organizing concept of the health system, ...

    Janet M Corrigan

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:22

    Published on: 23 May 2012

  25. Commentary

    National patient safety initiatives: Moving beyond what is necessary

    Ilan and Donchin have compared Israel and Canada's experiences in setting a national patient safety agenda. We broaden this comparison to include the U.S. experience, and suggest that there are three additiona...

    Eyal Zimlichman and David W Bates

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:20

    Published on: 23 May 2012

  26. Original research article

    Community healthcare in Israel: quality indicators 2007-2009

    The National Program for Quality Indicators in Community Healthcare in Israel (QICH) was developed to provide policy makers and consumers with information on the quality of community healthcare in Israel. In w...

    Dena H Jaffe, Amir Shmueli, Arie Ben-Yehuda, Ora Paltiel, Ronit Calderon, Arnon D Cohen, Eran Matz, Joseph K Rosenblum, Rachel Wilf-Miron and Orly Manor

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:3

    Published on: 30 January 2012

  27. Commentary

    Quality of care: how good is good enough?

    Israel has made impressive progress in improving performance on key measures of the quality of health care in the community in recent years. These achievements are all the more notable given Israel's modest ov...

    Mark R Chassin

    Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 2012 1:4

    Published on: 30 January 2012