Sunday night I went to the Welcome Reception - my opportunity to learn the way I would repeat on the next 3 days. Just as I arrived at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG) I met colleagues from Brazil and as there weren´t so many people there - we had great wine and snacks - it felt really cozy.
It was only on Monday morning by the time I entered the Plenary Room that I could realize the hugeness of the Conference. The room was crowded and it was visible how many different countries were represented at the audience. Listen to Dr Margaret Chan and Sir Liam Donaldson gave me the dimension of the problems that we face and how large and consistent the solutions must be.
During the morning break, the group of scholars took pictures along with Tracey Cooper, Triona Fortune and Nittita Prasopa. Casually, David Bates was around so he also joined the cast for the photographs! It would be nice if the scholars could also have some time to talk about their current work and/or research so we could learn more about different realities.
The first morning concurrent session I attended was on quality and safety in transitional and developing countries with presentations of experiences developed in Brazil, Chile and some African countries.
At the afternoon concurrent session, the presentation of the project Deepening our understanding of quality improvement in Europe - DUQue done by Rosa Sunol and Oliver Groene caught my attention. Indeed we expect organizations with mature quality management systems to be safer but there aren´t still evidences to make such a statement and that is one of the things this study is addressing.
The afternoon plenary was about e-health and health technology assessment. Christian Lovis reminded how important is for us to face technology in a critical way and Andrew Morris presented the experience of Scotland with e-health enabling epidemiologic studies and healthcare planning.
The second day morning plenary on Patient Safety - Translating global safety concepts into practice counted with the very enthusiastic presentation of Didier Pittet about hand hygiene and the large experience of François Clergue on practices related to safe surgery.
As I did on the first day, for the morning concurrent session I attended the one on Quality and safety in transitional and developing countries. The session started with a discussion in small groups coordinated by Rashad Massoud on how to make health care better in low and middle income countries. The orientations for the discussions were based on The Salzburg Statement. After that, we had three presentations about studies developed at Afghanistan, Libya and Brazil.
The lunch session WHO: Teaching about patient safety in countries counted with the implementation experiences of the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide on a Dental School in Greece presented by Dr Yannis Skalkidis, on a Medical School in Portugal presented by Dr Paulo Sousa, on healthcare professionals conducted by the Supreme Council of Health of Qatar presented by Dr. Jamal Rashid Al-khanji and on a Nursing Undergraduate Course in the UK presented by Dr Mansour Mansour. Besides taking place in different countries and different settings all presenters pointed out the challenge to aggregate the patient safety curriculum on the traditional biomedical curriculum.
For the afternoon concurrent session, I was so curious to hear the presentation of Don Goldmann so I went to room 5 at level 3. When I got there I was surprised by the crowded room but happy I could find a good place at the floor just in front of the presenters. Don´s presentation was followed by Jason Leitch presentation then I realized it was more than justified the big audience. Besides the things I learned about improvement and nationwide implementation, by the end of the second day I learned something else: Scottish people have such a great humor!
Measuring Service Performance and Outcome was the presentation done by Carolyn Clancy at the afternoon plenary and it put together all strategic issues about this subject reinforcing and advancing some of the ideas discussed at the Conference.
To finish such a busy day at 5 p.m., I went to the Poster Reception. I couldn´t circulate a lot because I had to stay near the poster I was presenting (A portrait of hospital accreditation in Brazil) but it was really nice to talk to people, from Brazil and from others countries, about the findings displayed at the poster.
As the previous days were so intense on learning, networking and social events - add to that the four hours difference between Brazil and Switzerland - I couldn´t get to the CICG earlier than 10 a.m. missing interesting conferences but truly awake for the morning concurrent session on Education in safety and quality. I didn´t know either Johan Thor nor Boel Anderson-Gare but I felt I made the right decision to attend their session. Under the name Learning by doing: linking quality improvement theory and practice they planned and carried out an involving and dynamic session. All the participants were stimulated to talk about their work and ideas on quality improvement promoting exchanges and learning.
By lunch time I could realize that we had a shortage on participants compared to the first two days. It was a pity, the quality of the speakers and works were just remarkable as the previous days.
For the last afternoon concurrent session, I was interested on the one on patient safety systems that would address Crew Resource Management because I see this contribution of the aviation as a great tool for improvement of safety culture and communication among healthcare teams. Unfortunately, the presenter had a bicycle accident and the session didn´t happen. After all, any activity has its risks…
With that unexpected change I attended another session on quality and safety in transitional and developing countries. I could listen to Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey speak about the Five Alive project in Ghana and regretted not being able to wake up earlier for his presentation at the morning plenary. After him, Jose Maria Paganini presented his proposal for a national plan for quality and safety in healthcare in Argentina. Paganini is a reference in Brazil on the area of hospital accreditation and it was difficult to believe that we were only 15 at the audience.
Peter Pronovost was in charged of the closing plenary. It couldn´t be a better choice! His presentation on Behavioral and Cultural Change showed that these are sine qua non conditions for better outcomes. His passionate and compromised practice evidenced that is possible to reduce to zero the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infections not only in the hospital where he started as well as in others hospitals, states and countries. His optimist speech was really motivating and that was the feeling that I brought to Brazil after ISQua´s Conference.
I hope to see as many of you as possible in Rio in 2014 so we can keep on exchanging, learning and Advancing Quality and Safety for All: Now and in the Future!