ISQua Launches Online Discussion Forum for Salzburg Global Seminar

A series of discussions launches today on the ISQua Knowledge Portal, an online forum, in the lead up to next month’s Salzburg Global Seminar, which will convene imaginative thinkers from different cultures and institutions to solve problems of global concern. The forum’s topic matches the seminar’s theme, “Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies: What are the next steps and how do we get there?” Portal registration is free, and the discussion is open to all.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) will host the seminar and discussion series, along with partners from USAID, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. HCI is managed University Research Co., LLC (URC).  ISQua, the International Society for Quality in Health Care Ltd., is a membership organization that fosters the sharing of expertise in improving the quality of health care.

The invitation-only Salzburg Global Seminar will bring together 60 global health leaders—two-thirds of them from low- and middle-income countries—and representatives of key agencies involved in improving health care quality and safety. Participants will discuss their accomplishments, challenges, and goals in creating stronger health systems capable of continually improving over many years. The seminar will be held in Salzburg, Austria, April 22–27, 2012. 

Contributors to ISQua's online discussion are invited to respond to three questions that will be addressed during the seminar. They will also be able to read and comment on seminar deliberations through an e-conferencing feature, including daily summaries by each session’s chairperson. These summaries and notable online comments will be featured in the final conference report. Outcomes from the seminar will be shared at the World Health Assembly, ISQua’s 29th International Conference in Geneva next October, and ISQua’s regional conference in Accra, Ghana, in February 2013. 

Making Health Care Better in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Dr. M. Rashad Massoud, Director of HCI; Ms. Nana Mensah-Abrampah, Quality Improvement Fellow at URC; and partners recently published an editorial in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, to set the stage for the seminar. The editorial advocates improving the delivery of safe and effective health care in low- and middle-income countries. 

With only three years until the Millennium Development Goals’ target date, USAID, the WHO, and other international health organizations are looking for ways to sustain successful improvement efforts and strengthen health systems worldwide. The editorial argues:

“It is possible to improve the delivery of effective interventions in resource constrained settings.…What is needed is research into creating systems capabilities that will allow healthcare providers to continually adapt interventions so that they work for more patients in more contexts.” 

For more information on opportunities for participation in the conference, visit the Salzburg Global Seminar website

Members of the Salzburg Global Seminar Committee include Dr. Massoud; Dr. Pierre Barker, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Prof. Sheila Leatherman, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina; Dr. Edward Kelley, WHO; Dr. Bruce Agins, HEALTHQUAL; Ms. Sylvia Sax, Heidelberg University; Dr. James Heiby, USAID; Mr. John Lotherington, Salzburg Global Seminar; and Ms. Mensah-Abrampah.

March 20, 2012
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