First in a series of three blogs by the student winners of our “Ask One Question” competition, Ellie Whittaker describes her experience at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Gothenburg.
What an experience! I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to go to this year’s International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Gothenburg. The speakers, the sessions, the venue and setting provided the perfect setting for me to get my first insight into quality improvement.
We, all 3300 delegates, were introduced to the Model for Improvement in the opening keynote, presented by Dr Donald Berwick, a very engaging and inspirational speaker!
Each day, we were presented with new and innovative ways that people all over the world had been working on, to improve the quality of their healthcare system. In Copenhagen they are encouraging patients with mental health illnesses to engage with their own care. They asked the patients; ‘What does dignity mean to you?’ allowing for improved patient centred care and to reduce the number of restraints used.
In Malawi, they had created a mobile app to be used by Health Surveillance Assistants to monitor the health of newborn babies in the community, rather than keep them all in hospital. This app was already starting to improve infant mortality rates. I was in awe that a developing country could be so forward thinking and felt inspired to start my own project.
After listening to the speakers, I attended the student and junior sessions, meeting junior professionals from Australia, Copenhagen and Sweden. I was fortunate to spend the evening with two students from Australia and Manchester, sharing ideas and thoughts on the healthcare in our different countries.
In the evenings we also got the opportunity to do some exploring of the city of Gothenburg. After crossing over the many cycle, pedestrian, tram lanes we found the harbour and some lovely places to eat.
On the final day we heard from Maureen Bisognano who empowered us to ask our patients ‘What matters to you?’ which is such a short easy question that can allow us to provide more personal care specific to those we’re providing care to. And from her final plenary I learnt that working multi-professionally, in a multigenerational team with a holistic mindset will allow us to improve the quality of care we provide to patients.
Thank you 1000 Lives Improvement for such an amazing experience!