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World investing in and collaborating on healthcare quality

Stethoscope and world

By CARF International

As providers, regulators, and payers of health and human services around the world seek value and efficiency, many are adopting new standards, integrating new methods, reviewing existing regulations, and exploring innovative practices from other countries.

What has become clear is that providers in many countries face similar challenges and collaboration is becoming a vital business strategy.

Similar healthcare trends and challenges across the globe

Transforming Outcomes Institute in China
CARF’s first Transforming Outcomes Institute in China. Guangdong Work Injury Rehabilitation Hospital. November 2018.

Although each country has unique cultural and regulatory considerations, some of the same trends have arisen in many locations, including:

  • A widespread shift from fee-for-service models to value-based models that focus on outcomes and improving healthcare on a wide scale. “Stakeholders are moving from volume to value through reform policies, programs promoting operational efficiency, technology use, population health management, wellness, and addressing the social determinants of health,” summarizes a 2018 Deloitte report.
  • Continued staffing and skill shortages are causing healthcare organizations worldwide to turn more to new technology, automated tools, training programs, and alliances. “Workforce challenges in the healthcare industry, such as staffing shortages in hospital specialties and nursing shortages are evident across the globe. Compounding the problem is a scarcity of next-generation skills to guide and support the transformation to becoming patient-centric, insight-driven, and value-focused organizations,” notes another recent Deloitte study.
  • As IT and digital options become more available, challenges are emerging around data privacy and security, and the lack of necessary IT skills in health and human service industries as a whole, says a 2018 report from Meticulous Market Research. According to the report, the challenge isn’t going away anytime soon as the global market for IT solutions related to healthcare quality management may increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent in the next 5 years, reaching nearly $3.7 billion by 2023.

Providers are collaborating and sharing ideas

ISPRM’s Summit for Developing Countries. July 2016
ISPRM’s Summit for Developing Countries. July 2016.

In response to common trends and challenges, payers and providers are networking both inside and outside their own country’s borders for solutions and ideas. For example:

  • Providers are also forming their own networks, such as Cochrane Rehabilitation, to share best practices and data. Cochrane Rehabilitation is a global consortium that aims to disseminate evidence-informed clinical practices in rehabilitation. It publishes content for multilingual translation and distribution across multiple platforms.
  • Since 2014, Zero Suicide International (ZSI) has hosted networking summits approximately every 18 months to develop partnerships between national leaders in suicide prevention. ZSI then publishes the ideas and research that stem from the summits.
  • Healthy China 2030, part of a national health improvement plan in China, is helping the country move toward gradual integration of medical rehabilitation and aging services in which rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, and skilled nursing facilities collaborate more intensively to provide health management and medical consultancy.

CARF is using its global footprint to address these challenges and spread innovative practices. For example, as part of relationships with the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and others, CARF helped conduct surveys in 2018 about clinical internship programs and needs assessment for new certifications. CARF also participates in global partnerships—like the recently announced Evidence-Based Practice Initiative—and routinely visits, consults with, and provides education to leaders in emerging healthcare markets around the world.

And of course CARF’s accreditation standards are a mechanism to share innovative practices among providers and countries. For more information on how CARF is helping contribute to global healthcare quality improvements, visit

(Aging Services,Behavioral Health,Child and Youth Services,Medical Rehabilitation,Performance Management and Improvement)

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