From Wednesday 22nd April to Friday 24th April I was lucky enough to attend the 20th International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare at the ExCel in London, all thanks to 1000 Lives Improvement. The event is promoted as a unique opportunity to learn from, and network with key figures and organisations in the world of quality improvement. It did not disappoint! With 3,000 delegates from 80 different countries it was a very inspirational and professionally organised event. I shared my experience with three nursing students from other universities across Wales, who were all equally enthusiastic about quality and safety improvement.
It was great to learn about the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), as well as meeting the organisation’s President and CEO, Maureen Bisognano who delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the opening of the forum. It was useful to discover that the IHI Open School offers free online courses to students that teach the foundations of improvement, system design and leadership. I would encourage all Welsh healthcare students to make use of this worthwhile resource as well as to get in touch with the IHI for support in initiating any quality improvement projects.
The forum had a very comprehensive programme of speakers. I chose to attend sessions from the ‘Improving Population and Community Health’ stream as this is my primary interest as a student studying Applied Public Health. A session entitled ‘Patient-centred health and care’ stood out for me as a highlight as it gave me a much better understanding of the new way of segmenting populations based upon people’s needs and aspirations using the concept of “persona”. Another highlight was the first plenary on day 2, ‘Inspiring large scale community projects’, which outlined strategies for tackling multi-system issues.
There were a vast range of posters on display at the forum, showcasing the array of quality improvement work that is taking place across the world. It was great to see the work of the 1000 Lives Improvement Student and Educator Community represented amongst these.
The forum really looked after their delegates. I took a break from the busy schedule of speakers to attend one of the dedicated mindfulness and yoga sessions, which provided some quiet time to help focus and refresh the mind, as well as reflect on all the learning I had been involved in. Perhaps universities and workplaces should consider having such classes available too?!
I would like to thank 1000 Lives Improvement for providing me with this unique opportunity to attend such an exciting event and for valuing the contribution that healthcare students can make to the quality improvement agenda and I’m looking forward to applying everything I have learned.
Frances Samuel is a #Hellomynameis competition winner and healthcare student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
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