InOrder Institute and Chitkara University partner to create a Health Informatics course for the MBA Healthcare program

The InOrder Institute for Health Systems Strengthening and Chitakara University are working together to introduce a Health informatics course for the MBA Healthcare program of Chitkara University. The eight-week course will be will commence in March 2021. The course is designed to cover practical aspects of the healthcare IT industry including clinical information systems, bioinformatics, standards, and regulatory aspects, and advanced systems design such as the cloud and IoT (Internet of things). Faculty from Chitkara and InOrder with extensive experience in health technology product design and standards will deliver the course to the students.

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ACCESS Health Philippines: The Welfare of Frontliners at the Forefront

Manila, Philippines-ACCESS Health International successfully organized an online orientation to officially kick off their national survey activities for the study entitled, "Determining the Implementation Status of Benefits under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers in the Philippines." Attended by over 100 municipal and city health doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel, the online orientation aimed to formally introduce the national survey and provide guidance on navigating through the online survey process and answering the online questionnaire. Funded by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology under the Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions with Health Policy and Systems Research (AHEAD-HPSR) Program, the study aims to assess the overall implementation status of the benefits enshrined under the Republic Act No. 7305 of 1994. On the municipal/ city level, the study further endeavors to identify the enabling and hindering factors of why the policy has been implemented. Apart from policy briefs and technical reports, ACCESS Health International will develop an assessment tool as an end-product that the DOH can use to evaluate the LGUs in implementing the Magna Carta policy.

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ACCESS Health and SafeCare Join Forces To Improve Healthcare in India

ACCESS Health has teamed up with SafeCare, a standards based, digital quality improvement platform, to improve the quality of care in India. In this international partnership, ACCESS Health will help facilities implement the standards-based methodology developed by SafeCare that empowers healthcare providers to measure, monitor, and improve the quality of their services. Working towards improving healthcare quality standards and strengthening health systems in India, ACCESS Health International constantly strives to bring innovative quality tools and programs in the Indian healthcare space. SafeCare, with experience in sub-Saharan Africa, is a globally renowned company which provides innovative healthcare standards, surveyor training, and grading systems for measuring the quality of care. PharmAccess Foundation's SafeCare platform will further contribute to the efforts of ACCESS Health in building strong and high quality healthcare services in the county. The SafeCare standards are accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IIEA). The PharmAccessFoundation manages and uses the SafeCare brand, standards, tools and methodologyfor quality improvement programs and assessment and certification of healthcare providers. The SafeCare package offers an IIEA accredited, standards based, step-by-step approach towards improving the quality of healthcare services. The improvements are formally recognized through certification. Within the partnership, a model will be developed and a phased approach towards licensing the SafeCare methodology to ACCESS Health International will be adopted. The SafeCare standards offer a clear and objective view of a facility's scale, scope, and quality of clinical services. They provide a detailed improvement plan to guide facilities on their quality improvement journey. Data can be used for benchmarking, performance monitoring, and informed decision making for both public and private healthcare facilities. The data collection and reporting system has been fully digitalized. This is done through mobile phones and central databases and reporting tools that are easily accessible for informed decision making by all stakeholders. Why this partnership? In the last decade, India has made big strides in providing better access to healthcare for its 1 billionplus citizens. However, the quality of that care remains a key challenge in reaching universal healthcoverage by 2030, a globally agreed goal of the United Nations. According to a 2016 Lancet report, poor quality of care leads to almost twice as many deaths thaninsufficient access to healthcare, 1.6 million deaths compared to 838,000 respectively It is thuscrucial to address both these issues. However, there is a lack of certification and accreditation bodies offering local solutions for emergingmarkets. How, for example, can a rural clinic in India meet the same requirements as a city hospital,given the differences in resources and training? As a result of this weak regulatory framework, patients and payers of health care face uncertaintyregarding the availability and quality of service. In turn, this hampers health sector investments aspatients are not willing to prepay for healthcare through insurance. More about the SafeCare Standards The SafeCare standards provide an objective, holistic view of medical and non-medical service provision of hospitals and laboratories, transparent and achievable quality improvement goals and a staged motivating and monitoring system. The tools are online and mobile centric. Health professionals can benefit from an interactive, real-time quality management and monitoring platform that aids informed decision making and hence better health outcomes. It also standardizes the methodology of measurement across healthcare facilities. Patients know what quality of care to expect at a certain facility, funders have data to assess the medical, financial, and accountability risks when considering long-term investments and insurance companies can see which providers their customers use to give better value for money. PharmAccess mobilizes public and private resources for the benefit of doctors and patients through health insurance, loans to doctors, clinical standards and quality improvements, private investments, and operational research. In conclusion, at a policy level, data on quality and risks assist the government in its choices about how to best allocate its scarce resources. In this respect, ACCESS Health International and SafeCare can truly transform the quality landscape in India to create sustainable improvement and provide health for all.

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INSIGHT COVID-19: International Public Health Management Training Program

Together with China Primary Healthcare Foundation, ACCESS Health China co-organized a two-month training program on public health management addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, covering topics such as the concept of public health, hospital infection, new technology, new vaccine, doctor-patient relationship during the pandemic, and global collaboration against the pandemic. Many experts and leaders in public health, including Academic Zhu CHEN, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Chinese Peasants and Workers Party and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Dr. Li GAO, Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in China; Academic Nanshan ZHONG, Leader of the Chinese National Expert Team against COVID-19; Academic Lanjuan LI, Member of the Expert Team; and Zunyou WU, Chief Scientist of Chinese National Center for Disease Control and Prevention gave insightful sharing and relevant case studies throughout the program. The training contained 20 live-stream sessions over 8 weeks, providing free online public health courses for hospital administrators, doctors, staffs of disease control departments and medical students.

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Achieving Universal Health Coverage in the Philippines Through Digital Technology

Together with Cisco, ACCESS Health hosted a roundtable discussion on harnessing digital health for achieving universal health care (UHC) on 18 January 2021. Participants from government ministries handling health and/or technology, private sector developers of eHealth solutions, and academics working in this field provided multifaceted perspectives on the challenges at hand in more fully realizing digital health's benefits. The roundtable was structured around ten action points that ACCESS Health identified in a 2019 white paper about how digital technology is key to achieving UHC in Southeast Asia. The roundtable contextualized these challenges to the Philippines, such as establishing a clear national mandate for eHealth, ring-fencing public funding for it, and harnessing the private sector to help overcome inequitable access to healthcare using digital platforms. The event was well-timed given that a number of bills are being deliberated in Congress concerning eHealth. Also, private sector innovations have emerged in recent months like GoHealth for microinsurance and HealthNow for an all-in-one health app. Appropriate next steps concerning the ten action points were identified by participants that promise to improve the Philippines' eHealth infrastructure over the coming years.

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ACCESS Health Philippines: A Look Back On 2020 And Look Ahead To 2021

With the pandemic’s onset, 2020 became a year of transition for the Philippines office. The introduction of quarantines necessitated a move online for nearly all our projects and activities. Nevertheless, our work continued and we were able to complete a number of critical projects, including a study on the country’s readiness for vertical integration of health services for a development lender; a multi-country survey on integrated care for chronic diseases for the Asia-Pacific Observatory; and a Child Protection Forum for the Consuelo Foundation. Offline, we continued work with the TB Reach project, which opened a second clinic in Mandaluyong City to extend the availability of private sector TB care complementing the broader national effort. 2021 has started promisingly. We are continuing work on an evaluation of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and a study on trends in bilateral health cooperation for the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. Also in the process of completion is a study appraising health researchers’ use of research-based evidence to influence public health policy for the Global Development Network. Moreover, the local office is now becoming better integrated with ACCESS Health’s wider Southeast Asian initiatives. These include research ascertaining the status of eHealth in the Philippines for multilateral development agencies and technology solution providers. Also, we are working with a pharmaceutical concern to place emphasis on bone health. By engaging in these projects and activities, we aim to expand our capabilities to better meet the requirements of existing and prospective partners.

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ACCESS Health Southeast: A Look Back On 2020 And Look Ahead To 2021

2020 was a year of adapting, learning, and refining for the Southeast Asia office. With our unique regional perspective, we spent the year showing how the tenet we’ve touted – resilient, digitally enabled, affordable healthcare – is indeed the key to outlasting devastations such as Covid-19. Internally, we pivoted from our busy travel schedules to focusing on tailoring our programs and messaging to respond to pandemic challenges, strengthening our partnerships and impact in ASEAN, forming and maintaining relationships, and reflecting on strategies and business processes. We’ve grown from an office of seven to a vibrant group of 14, based in both Singapore and Philippines.  This past year, the Singapore office merged with the ACCESS Health Philippines office, deepening our ties with governments and multinational organizations in the region. We hired consultants in Nepal, Vietnam, and Malaysia, keeping pace with our Fintech for Health projects and expanding our reach and knowledge base in these markets. We redesigned and relaunched our Startup Alliance program, mentoring and connecting more than ten startups in the region. We’ve hosted or spoke on panels for over 25 webinars and events centered around our focus areas of health systems strengthening, digital health, and innovative financing. We’ve posted five Fintech for Health blogs, co-authored three thought pieces, and published one report in partnership with the Singapore government. In 2021, we will add to our consulting staff, publish our Fintech for Health whitepaper, expand and build our current programs, and take forward new initiatives already in the pipeline.  Looking back on this year, we recognize the growth that took place and are proud of the work we’ve accomplished despite the many challenges. We look forward to what 2021 has in store for us, our clients, and those populations around the world who drive our passion to do more.

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ACCESS Health Philippines opens its 2nd Tuberculosis Clinic in Mandaluyong City

ACCESS Health Philippines, together with its implementing partner Innovations for Community Health, successfully opened its second Kalinga Health Hub in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila on November 25, 2020. This clinic will serve as a high-quality diagnosis and treatment facility featuring a centralized laboratory connected to a network of private providers. This scale-up project, which received a grant from StopTB Partnership, aims to replicate the successes from its pilot implementation site in Marikina City by helping increase TB case detection and notification rates with private sector involvement. Likewise, it will deepen public-private cooperation and harness economies of scale through having two sites. The launch was attended by partners from both the local and national government as well as agencies including the Mandaluyong City Health Department and Department of Health. ACCESS Health Philippines was represented by its Program Manager, Miggy Marasigan, and Program Associate Olan Junio. To mark the momentous occasion, Country Director of ACCESS Health Southeast Asia Sejal Mistry delivered a pre-recorded message to thank our partner institutions and organizations.

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Apply For The ACCESS Health International Startup Alliance Accelerator Program

ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia aims to bring digital health and digital finance players together to provide holistic services to patients and growth opportunities for startups. The Startup Alliance is an ecosystem of startups, corporations and investors that are at the forefront of healthcare innovation in Asia. The Startup Alliance catalyzes partnerships to make sure that innovations don't remain in the lab but are taken to the real world and to scale. Through this platform, startups have opportunities to build new growth engines supported by cross-industry mentorship, learning with other industry startups, business development opportunities, and pitching for investment. Join our Accelerator Program converging digital health with digital finance - Apply Before 20th November 2020 Eligibility Criteria:1) Pre-Series A to Series B startups2) Focus on Southeast Asia markets3) Digital health startups wanting to provide digital finance solutions and vice versa For more information, click here.

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Enhancing Child Protection In The Philippines

In conjunction with the Consuelo Foundation-a nonprofit addressing children's wellbeing-ACCESS Health Philippines organized a Child Protection Research Forum to appraise the current state of child protection in the country. The Forum involved a wide range of participants, including academics, child advocates, health professionals, law enforcers and legal scholars. In October, a final report was published detailing a multifaceted challenge from the Philippine context, including a range of emotional, mental, physical and social considerations. Especially given the challenges created by Covid-19 today-not being able to physically attend school, parents having challenges making ends meet amid mass unemployment, and living close together for extended time frames-this forum was remarkably salient in a young country where a third of the population is 14 years old or younger. The report also reflects the exchange of ideas by this diverse group that generated actionable plans for improving the status of child protection in the Philippines. Follow-up actions include the set-up of a research and learning network to encourage further multidisciplinary knowledge-sharing evident during the event, which was patterned on ACCESS Health's participation in the Joint Learning Network. You can view a recording of the Research Forum here.

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