Transatlantic Lessons on Health Reform

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<p>Despite significant differences in their health care systems, the United States and England face similar imperatives: reduce the cost of delivering care to aging populations and address deficiencies in quality and safety. A <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/oct/health-care-reforms-usa-and-england-areas-useful-learning">new article</a> in the <em>Lancet </em>by Jennifer Dixon, MBchB, of the Nuffield Trust in London and Harvard Medical School's David Blumenthal, M.D., chief health information and innovation officer at Partners Healthcare System in Boston, identifies major areas of reform where the two countries have common aims and may be able to learn from each other. These include: </p><ul>
<li>payment reforms, such as experiments with bundled payments to encourage better coordination of health services across providers and sites of care </li>
<li>encouraging innovation through the creation of accountable care organizations in the U.S. and clinical commissioning groups in the U.K. </li>
<li>using electronic health records to improve clinical decision-making and patient engagement. </li>
<p>"Policymakers and health care managers in both countries should miss no opportunity to make progress by learning from one another, and from other international examples," the authors conclude. </p>
<p>Since 1999, the Commonwealth Fund and Nuffield Trust have sponsored an annual meeting bringing together government officials, health researchers, and practitioners from the U.S. and U.K. for an exchange of ideas on quality improvement policies and strategies. </p>