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Last week, more than 750 attendees from 10 countries flocked to London for the ninth – and biggest ever – European Collaboration Forum (ECF). The three-day event offered a rich learning environment for health and care leaders from across the globe, with a wide variety of education sessions and keynote talks.
With the theme of “Smarter Care,” the event focused on the boundaries being pushed within population health management, acute care, nursing and consumer engagement to ultimately achieve the Quadruple Aim of health and care.
Day 1: Smarter care in the clinical setting
ECF19 kicked off with a focus on the importance of engaging dedicated clinicians in the change journey. In a captivating opening keynote, nursing leader Faith Roberts spoke of the impact that mission-oriented staff can have. Faith drew on her experience as executive director of Magnet, professional practice and parish nursing at Illinois’ Carle Physician Group to give a rousing, heart-warming call to action.
Nurses were strongly represented throughout the conference, having led several sessions to explain how data is being used to improve infection control, streamline nursing documentation and practice and offer more individualized care.
Elsewhere, this packed first day was driven by system leaders who told their stories about how implementing new technologies has made an impact on a range of areas and is empowering them to transform care and deliver better patient outcomes.
The importance of getting the basics right was a key theme that continued throughout the event. This was emphasized during the second keynote of the day, by Dr. Will Holland, vice president of care management and chief medical information officer for Banner Health, one of the United States’ largest non-profit care systems.
Dr. Holland spoke with great clarity about the way his organization focuses on a handful of key strategic priorities each year. Most recently, his focus has been on implementing a data strategy to improve both care quality and clinical reliability. This priority has helped to mobilize staff to provide consistent improvements in clinical outcomes.
Day 2: Patient-centred improvements
Day two opened with touching insights from patients and service users about the ways in which connected, patient-centred care made a real difference to their care journeys. This included testimony from Trevor Stiles, a recovering prostate cancer patient. He shared how having access to Cerner’s patient portal, HealtheLife, empowers him to be intimately involved in his own care – reducing his need to return to the hospital for test results and easing his anxiety around his prognosis.
The morning also featured informative panel sessions and discussions around current industry topics, including interoperability and open standards. With these sessions, the event shifted toward a population health focus that lead the agenda for the remaining day and a half of the Forum.
The afternoon keynote explored the ways in which data intelligence can help improve population health and how national initiatives are helping to bring this to life. During this keynote, guests heard from NHS England Deputy Chief Executive Matthew Swindells on what the recently published NHS Long Term Plan means for England and how data-driven intelligence fits into it. Matthew also reiterated the need for connected records and integrated care between settings to transform the national system.
The session, chaired by Cerner UK’s Vice President of Population Health Dr. Justin Whatling, also included Dr. John Halamka, professor of international healthcare innovation at Harvard Medical School and CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He invited attendees to think at a strategic and national level, and to be bold and act fast when it comes to innovating and advancing health and care.
Day 3: Engaged consumers, healthier populations
ECF19’s final day opened with the Forum’s last keynote – a fascinating insight into how data can encourage citizens to engage in the improvement of their own health.
During this session, Allison Hess, vice president of health and fitness at Geisinger, gave an incredibly moving account of patients and employees who were able to benefit from the health system’s Fresh Food Farmacy program, which uses a ‘food as medicine’ approach to tackle food insecurity issues in areas with high numbers of patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. The results? Encouraging outcomes that exceed the results typically seen from diabetes medications alone. Additionally, patients who have experienced the benefits of the program are also more motivated to pursue other healthy habits, such as tobacco cessation or weight management plans.
The rest of the day saw a succession of speakers from different organizations cover the topics that are shaping the future of health care and population health management. This included a session led by national and regional NHS leadership organizations outlining their strategies for data intelligence and showcasing how bringing together a “single version of the truth” has enabled both the North East London Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) and the South, Central and West CSU to make great gains in the management of population health across their respective footprints.
ECF19 provided health care professionals from around the globe an opportunity to learn, share and connect around the challenges of delivering smarter, more valuable care to consumers.
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