November 19, 2020By Lance Baily

ISQua’s Healthcare Virtual Conference Explores ‘Leading for Quality’

The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) hosts a much anticipated annual international simulation conference. Due to COVID-19, this year’s gathering of simulationists has been shifted to a virtual conference, titled “Leading for Quality,” held on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 11:30 a.m. GMT. ISQua explained that during this time of COVID19, leadership in healthcare needs to reflect on what is required to ensure that the quality of care is enhanced. In this medical simulation conference, ISQua members and speakers examine what is needed to lead for quality and patient safety when there are so many other challenges.

“Effective Leadership is important in any organization at any time but specifically 2020 has shown why leadership in healthcare is particularly important. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic it has come to the fore that leadership in healthcare has a huge impact on the response of countries and institutions to the virus and on the quality of the care patients in those countries and institutions experience,” ISQua Events Officer Eleanor Keegan said. “It is now more important than ever that we are people focused and remember that the people who deliver care and those who receive care want care to be of the highest quality at all times.”

At this year’s event, renowned leaders in the field of medical simulation are speaking on a variety of topics related to the event’s theme. Speakers include Jeffrey Braithwaite, ISQua president; Dr. Edward Kelley, director of the Department of Integrated Health Services in the UHC & Life Course Division at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva; and more.


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ISQua Virtual Simulation Conference Program Updates

Jeffrey Braithwaite, Ph.D., FIML, FCHSM, FFPHRCP, FAcSS, Hon FRACMA, FAHMS, led the virtual conference discussing long-term leadership and how to deliver quality healthcare services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the current president of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, director of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and director/professor at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation.

Braithwaite explained that while there is a lot of short-term management, there is not enough longer-term leadership. He explained that during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports are especially valuable because eventually the pandemic will be over. At this time, simulation leaders will have to deal with the aftermath, while continuing to improve the quality and safety of the populaces served.

Maureen A. Flynn, Ph.D., RGN, RNT, next discussed the structures and cultures necessary to deliver quality. She shared recent research explaining her findings related to the subject. Flynn is the director of nursing (national lead for quality and safety governance development) at the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, Quality and Patient Safety Directorate, Health Service Executive.

Wafa Allouche shared her experience as an ISQua Emerging Leader. During her time as an emerging leader, Allouche participated in numerous events, sharing information about ISQua and its role in the healthcare community. She shared her vision of promoting healthcare quality and safety.

Anna Edwards, a recently appointed adviser to the ISQua Board, discussed the importance of patient-centered care. She shared a personal experience which, as a patient, helped her learn what comprehensive patient-center care looks and feels like. Her presentation exemplified how iIlness can change someone’s personal narrative, and that those working in healthcare must never forget this. She says to achieve quality care, providers must prioritize communication, understand patients challenges and be brave in asking patients to play a role in their own care.

Isabella Castro, another ISQua board member, explained why co-creating with patients is necessary. She explained how a logical format can be applied across many elements of professionalism, but that there is also an emotional need for providers to apply within work and the workforce. They must also meet the emotional needs of the person at the forefront of care, the patient.

Leading the second half of the ISQua conference, Sabina Nuta, a professor at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, discussed learning from experience to improve healthcare services. She referenced the Italian experience of the regional network on the performance evaluation system. Following her presentation, Dr. Edward Kelley, the director of WHO Service Delivery and Safety in Geneva, Switzerland, explained how quality of healthcare can prevent many patient deaths (including those resulting from tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease, and maternal deaths). He addressed how this quality of care is impacted by COVID-19, and gave recommendations on how to overcome pandemic-related quality care barriers.

Ed Kelley WHO ISQua

Micaela La Regina added to this by sharing patient safety recommendations for COVID-19. As new information related to the pandemic was identified,  updated versions of patient safety recommendations were published. La Regina is an internist, certified clinical risk manager and delegate director of Planning and Quality, Accreditation, Education Unit at ASL5 Liguria in La Spezia, Italy.Micaela La Regina ISQua Virtual Conference



Watch ISQua’s full virtual conference recording here

About the ISQua Healthcare Simulation Community

Established in 1985, the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) is a membership-based not-for-profit community. The organization’s mission is “to inspire and drive improvement in health, and the safety and quality of healthcare worldwide.” ISQua provides an integrated program for members in every WHO region, including over 80 countries.

While much has been achieved across the clinical simulation industry during the last 30 years of operation, ISQua believes there is still more to be done. The organization explains that adapting and continuing the ISQua vision for the future will always require new visionaries to carry things forward.

Each year, ISQua gives out a number of awards to healthcare professionals promoting quality in care. The organization’s Life Membership Award is presented to individuals for exceptional service to ISQua and their achievements in the field of quality improvement. The Distinguished Services Award is given to individuals for their contribution to the achievement of ISQua’s mission. Additionally, the Reizenstein Award recognizes the author of the best paper submitted to the International Journal for Quality in Health Care annually.

Learn More About ISQua!


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