Doha, Qatar, 14 March 2016: The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), presented early findings of research produced by its Leading Health Systems Network (LHSN) at the inaugural Patient Safety Global Action Summit 2016 held in London last week.
The summit, co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Germany, brought together high-level government ministers, policymakers, and healthcare experts from more than fifteen countries around the world to discuss how to improve patient safety. The most significant summit on patient safety ever convened, WISH’s participation is aligned with QF’s mission to reinforce Qatar’s pioneering role as an emerging centre for healthcare innovation.
Established in 2009, LHSN has worked with 25 health systems in more than a dozen countries to help overcome the challenges faced in providing high-value care to the populations that they serve. Members of LHSN compare performance relative to their peers, learn from experts and frontline implementers during webinars, and are active members in a community committed to care improvement and innovation. LHSN is based at Imperial College in London and has partnered with WISH to improve healthcare policy around the world.
In 2013, WISH led a major initiative on the critical issue of patient safety, with a research forum chaired by Dr Peter Pronovost, Director of The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality. The Network has used that research as a springboard to launch further studies on how different health systems around the world protect patient safety by reducing medical error. Early findings, presented at the Patient Safety Global Action Summit 2016, identified gaps in patient safety in primary care, mental health, and community healthcare. LHSN will present its complete report at WISH’s upcoming Summit in November.
“This is a taster – a starter, if you’d like,” said WISH Executive Chair, Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham. “We’ve already
shown there are big gaps in identifying the right indicators that measure error in primary care, mental health, and community services. This is an area that needs to be looked at. We’ve also identified variations in where the data is collected in the acute section, between different countries. So we’ve identified big gaps, and a huge amount of error.”
The summit brought together ministers from seven different governments, including: Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health in the UK; Hermann Gröhe, Federal Minister of Health of Germany; Eng Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia; HE Dr Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Obaid Al Saidi, Minister of Health of the Sultanate of Oman; Mr Alain Berset, Minister with the Department of Home Affairs of Switzerland; Dr George Pamboridis, Minister of Health of Cyprus; and Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State for Health of Singapore. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of The World Health Organization, was also in attendance.
Ms Didi Thompson, Policy Fellow at Imperial College’s Centre for Health Policy and WISH Forum Fellow, presented the LHSN’s findings. Her research highlighted the preliminary recommendations from the network’s work on patient safety information, drawing from case studies in eight countries across four continents, underscoring the global scope of the team’s work.
“It was such a pleasure to be able to showcase our work to a high-profile audience that is poised to make real change in this area. Ultimately, what we’re searching for are solutions to some of the most pressing healthcare challenges, which inevitably revolve around patient safety,” Ms Thompson concluded.
Professor Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director of Apollo Hospitals in India and also a member of LHSN, said: “Our work at LHSN has shown that there is this desire among health systems across the world to learn from each other because everyone recognises there is an opportunity for improvement. Wherever we can get tools, methods, examples… [These are things] we want to adapt and adopt so the benefits filters down to our patients.”
Professor Sibal said he has noticed growing global concern on issues around patient safety. He noted a renewed sense of urgency among medical professionals, patients, and policymakers to “get on the same page” when it comes to reducing medical error and ensuring patient safety.
WISH’s research in the area has facilitated a global conversation around the search for solutions. Professor Robert Thomas, Chief Advisor on Cancer for Australia’s Victoria Government, said: “This is a very complex area, particularly when you get out of the acute hospital setting. One of the major accomplishments of this work is that it has brought people from different sectors together and talking to one another, which is quite interesting because this has never happened before. This work breaks down barriers, all towards the goal of improving patient safety.”
He said: “The vision of our founder, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, was for WISH to inform and influence policymakers at the highest levels so as to improve healthcare for populations everywhere. This summit in London is the first of its kind, the most august group of patient safety experts and ministers ever convened on the topic of preventing harm in the delivery of healthcare. With WISH research, staff, and our collaborators so integral to the proceedings, we are delivering on our founder’s vision.”WISH is a meeting point for thousands of high-level policymakers, academics, and professionals. It has also evolved into a key platform for the dissemination of healthcare innovation and best practices. The 2016 edition, which will take place from 29th – 30th November in Doha, will feature seven ground-breaking Research Forums that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit www.qf.org.qa