International perspectives, interactive workshops and off-site experiences were featured at the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare held in Amsterdam, May 2-4, 2018. The International Forum is one of the world's largest conferences for healthcare professionals committed to improving patient care and safety.
The annual conference was attended by more than 3,500 delegates from over 60 countries. The program featured over 150 speakers and more than 50 sessions. Patients were at the heart of designing and reviewing the Forum program, ensuring a greater focus on the patient and the personal story.
Maryanne D'Arpino, Senior Director, Patient Safety Improvement and Capacity Building attended the Forum for the first time.
"The general theme of the Forum that resonated with me was making moments matter with people," says Maryanne. "There was a focus on taking advantage of how we engage with patients, and our interactions with each other as healthcare professionals. How small interactions with people can ultimately make an impact in making patients safe. How we need to support each other as teams and as colleagues, in the type of way where we get to know the person behind the face. There were a number of parallels in how we are walking the talk and engaging patients in our work every step of the way."
Maryanne says that a true example of those moments that matter was a YouTube video produced by TD Bank that was featured in one of the presentations. The video illustrates how TD got to know their customers through interactions and showed their appreciation by giving something back to them. Another was keynote speaker, Caitlyn Jenner, who talked about how people make assumptions about the transgender community. It brought to heart how important it is to get to know who the person is by truly understanding what matters most.
The pre-conference program featured a number of off-site learning excursions. Maryanne visited an academic teaching hospital to learn more about their program called Teams. The Teams program correlates to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's TeamSTEPPS program around teamwork, communications and culture.
"It was inspiring to see how this could work from a local perspective and how we can take their learnings to create regional training centres for TeamSTEPPS," says Maryanne. "The Team program is physician-led, and includes a multi-faceted team. Through the site tour I was able to see how well immersed they are in this program and get a birds-eye view of what is possible."
The Forum also highlighted some 500 poster presentations and a vast array of quality improvement projects were featured on a poster stage during the conference, providing opportunities to learn from, and collaborate with, colleagues working around the globe. Three of the Canadian entries focused on the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's work on the Patient Safety Culture Bundle for CEOs and Senior Leaders; ISMP Canada's 5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications; and HIROC's the Deteriorating Patient Condition. Failure to Rescue is ranked number two in healthcare claims in Canada (HIROC, 2017).
"Delegates were very excited about the Patient Safety Culture Bundle and wanted to learn more about it," adds Maryanne. "The checklist was a popular take-away and there was so much interest in connecting with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute to find out next steps around the bundle."
"The Forum was a unique opportunity to learn from different countries and the advancements that have been made in patient safety," says Maryanne. "Although Canada made a small but mighty footprint at the 2018 Forum, we need to challenge ourselves as a nation to make a bigger impact next year, to validate the great work that we are doing across the country and be a part of the unified voice around the globe."