June 30, 2021By Lance Baily

ISQUA 2021: Emotion, Inspiration and Creativity: Pathways to Global Health Quality | July 8-11, 2021

The International Society for Quality in Health Care will host the organization’s 37th international conference from July 8 to July 11, 2021. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ISQUA has transitioned this year’s conference to a virtual format. Hosted alongside Centro Regionale Gestione Rischio Clinico e Sicurezza del Paziente (GRC) and the Italian Network for Safety in Healthcare, the organization remains confident that attendees will still benefit from this informative learning experience. The theme for this year’s event is “Emotion, Inspiration and Creativity: Pathways to Global Health Quality.”

As the conference was originally scheduled to take place in Florence, Italy, the theme was designed to reflect the Renaissance — a period of rebirth with new ideas, discoveries and the flowering of wonderful art. ISQUA intended for this theme to reflect that there will be a rebirth of the belief systems in the goodness of health and the ability to deliver safe and effective people-centered care. Specifically, the organization believes that three key essential components of the Renaissance – Emotion, Inspiration, and Creativity – will pave the way to Global Health Quality.

In addition to the conference opening, each day will include a variety of presentations on numerous topics. For example, on the first day of the conference, topics will include building sustainable and comprehensive care, leading for quality, external evaluation, focus on the person, facilitating future health and more. Sessions to be held will include a good governance sponsored session and patient council sessions. Another attraction of this conference is the wealth of expertise that all expected plenary speakers will share with attendees.


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Sample ISQUA 2021 Presentation Topics

Good Governance Sponsored Session – “The importance of the arts and healthcare”: This session will explore how the arts could benefit healthcare on an international scale. Presentations will be brought together from East London NHS Foundation Trust and an arts organization to showcase the approach and ask international healthcare leaders for their thoughts and approaches to the arts supporting healthcare.

NAHQ Stephanie Mercardo: In this session, NAHQ’s CEO Stephanie Mercado will discuss how NAHQ’s twice-validated Healthcare Quality Competency Framework is supporting individuals and organizations as they standardize quality competencies. Simulationists can only improve what they measure, and for the first time, NAHQ is measuring the expressed competencies of the quality workforce at local and national levels.

Plenary Pascale Carayon: Members of the care team, including patients, care partners, clinicians and other healthcare professionals, often experience challenges in doing their work. Those challenges can result in patient safety issues, frustration, stress and other negative outcomes, thereby contributing to the global quality chasm. In this presentation, Pascale Carayon will describe the SEIPS (Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety) model that can be used to analyze and improve work systems and care processes along the patient journey. System barriers and facilitators in the actual work of care teams are primary contributing factors to a range of safety, quality and well-being outcomes for both patients and healthcare workers. Using a human factors and systems engineering perspective can, therefore, help to address the global quality chasm.


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(WHO) Towards Eliminating Avoidable Harm in Healthcare: This session will explain how all WHO Member States (MSs) and partners are striving to progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the benefits of increased access to and improved coverage of healthcare services have been undermined by systemic issues, including inefficient service delivery models, lack of human and financial resources, ineffective communication and teamwork, inappropriate cultures and behaviors that lead to significant human suffering and patient harm.

In recent years, the global efforts to recognize the urgent need to reduce patient harm in healthcare systems around the world have dramatically increased. This has come with the paradigm shift in addressing patient safety within the context of strengthening the broader health system and as a foundation to moving ahead in the journey towards UHC.

Following the adoption of the World Health Assembly (WHA) 72.6 resolution on “Global action on patient safety” in 2019, the WHO, in collaboration with MSs and key international stakeholders, developed the “Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030” that provides a strategic direction for concrete actions to be taken by countries, stakeholders, healthcare facilities and the WHO to implement the WHA72.6 resolution. The global action plan was endorsed by WHO Executive Board in January 2021 and was recommended to WHA in May 2021 for adoption, requesting that the Director-General report back on progress in implementation of the action plan to the WHA in 2023 and thereafter every biennium until 2031.

WHO briefing session: action and learning for quality health services. Inadequate quality of care results in between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths in low- and middle-income countries annually, a situation likely exacerbated by disruption to services during the COVID-19 pandemic and one that requires a comprehensive, system-wide response. To support countries to meet this challenge, the WHO has recently released key technical products that will be presented in this briefing session.

Making room for voice: co-producing quality –  Speakers Glyn Elwyn, Boel Andersson Gare, Sylvie Manti and Valerie James: The aim of this plenary is to introduce co-production principles and methods, to explore how coproduction makes an essential contribution to health and healthcare quality, to describe what coproducing is and how to make the method work.

External Evaluations Symposium: A panel of experts and thought leaders will guide this 2.5 hour session. There will be a mix of presentation and dialogue with participants to foster engagement and inspire people to make changes in their own jurisdictions.

More About ISQUA

The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) is a member-based, not-for-profit community that delivers a variety of initiatives and programs around the world. The organization’s mission is to inspire and drive improvement in health and the safety and quality of healthcare worldwide. ISQUA’s vision is to be the leader of transformation in health and healthcare. ISQUA believes in equity in the delivery of healthcare with the required action to address the social determinants of health.

Register for ISQUA 2021


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