The Health Policy Partnership (HPP) recently collaborated with the European Health Management Association (EHMA) to host a webinar on ‘Building health system readiness: from research to impact’. The webinar looked at different examples of work to enhance readiness in a health system, whether by using assessment frameworks or other approaches. It also highlighted that assessment frameworks can support the accurate and reliable evaluation of different components of a health system, allowing stakeholders to align on important considerations and priority tasks.

HPP Managing Director Suzanne Wait, who was moderating the event, began by giving an overview of what health system readiness is and why it is important.

Following this, Marina Karanikolos, Researcher at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, presented on health system resilience testing. After clarifying why we need to test for resilience, she summarised the shock cycle, in which appropriate responsiveness and adaptiveness following an adverse event can lead to preparedness for future shocks. She also outlined the Health system performance assessment: a framework for policy analysis, which is an ongoing project within the European Observatory.

With everyone now clear on the overarching concepts, three case study presentations allowed us to take a deeper dive into the specifics of preparing to introduce innovations into the health system.

  • Patricia Scherer, Director of Policy Implementation at Kantar Public Belgium, outlined the project ‘Overcoming obstacles to vaccination’, which aims to increase vaccination rates in the EU. Attendees learnt about the team’s work to better understand the physical, practical and administrative obstacles to vaccination in order to overcome them.
  • Lucy Morgan, Associate Director of Research and Policy at HPP, spoke about the Radioligand Therapy Readiness Assessment Framework and its application in the UK. Lucy explained how data from the framework’s application helped form policy recommendations that could improve readiness for radioligand therapy, an innovative cancer treatment.
  • Vicent Moncho Mas, Chief Information Officer at Marina Salud, gave an overview of the implementation of a digital medication management system at Denia Hospital in Spain. Vicent outlined some of the issues that occurred during this process and shared the lessons learnt to help others trying to implement similar systems.

All three speakers then joined Josep Figueras, Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, for a panel discussion moderated by Anett Ruszanov, EHMA. The panellists reflected on the various barriers that can stand in the way of implementation, covering issues ranging from data collection to practical action.

In his concluding address, Josep emphasised the need to build resilience and ensure the effective performance of our health systems. Of particular importance, he noted, is making health assessment frameworks applicable across countries to help drive system change.

Suzanne closed the session with a nod to the importance of collaboration. She said, ‘we are all aiming for the same thing, which is a data-driven approach to ensuring our health systems are ready, prepared and resilient.’