Presenters from both sides of the Atlantic and the Caribbean region descended on Trinidad in January for a conference on the aspects of quality relating to healthcare. The conference, Improvement in Health Care Quality and Delivery: Making A Difference, was hosted by the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Medical Sciences, and took place at the university’s St Augustine’s Campus.
The objectives of the conference were to bring together various stakeholders (both private and public sectors) in one forum, in order to assess the current state of healthcare quality and its delivery in the region, and share ideas on how to improve it.
These ideas included the role of IT in bringing added value; the use of independent assessment/ audit of institutions; and placing a strong focus on risk management and a patient’s charter.
There were also a number of sub-themes sprouting off the main agenda:
- Models of healthcare quality and delivery (local, regional and international)
- Healthcare access, quality and insurance
- Needs assessment of healthcare institutions
- Risk management
- Quality care and health tourism
- Information technology and healthcare quality
- Quality care and critical medicine (ICU and emergency settings)
- Sustainable quality care
- Quality care and professional development
- Quality care and communication
- Quality care and medical education (universities/tertiary learning institutes).
Dr Brian Charles of MPS then presented on “How Risk Management Can Contribute to Better Healthcare”. Dr Charles covered the basic tenets of risk and outlined the cost to the health sector when these risks escalate to adverse events.
Using published data, Dr Charles then demonstrated the benefits of risk management programmes in terms of decreased average cost per lawsuit, fewer lawsuits, and decreased lawsuit resolution time.