15-16 June 2017
3rd Heidelberg Quality Improvement Forum for Health:
How to fit patient safety into QI mechanisms?

While Patient Safety is universally recognised as a key theme in advancing health care systems, it is yet to be integrated into a broader spectrum of topics and methods addressing health care systems as a whole.  The 3rd Heidelberg QI Forum for Health, which took place from 15 to 16 June 2017 shared and critically appraised strategies, best practices, and evidence-based tools to understand and tackle common patient safety challenges as elements of systematic and data-guided mechanisms referred to as Quality Improvement.

More specifically, the Forum focused on Quality Improvement mechanisms in Low and Middle Income Countries and determined if these mechanisms reflect Patient Safety issues, if there is a demand in formulating and reformulating certain standards to actually reflect these issues, addressed the challenges of using Patient Safety data for health system strengthening and, finally, explored hidden Patient Safety issues related to culture, gender, ethnicity and marginalisation. On the first day of the forum participants were asked to join a group around four key areas:

(i) Rigor, attribution, and generalisability of quality and safety data for health system strengthening;

(ii) What are hidden patient safety issues related to culture, gender, ethnicity and marginalisation?;

(iii) Do current quality improvement mechanisms reflect patient safety?; and

(iv) How can health care standards be (re-)formulated to reflect patient safety needs in different health systems?

The groups then rotated on the second day of the forum. Thus, every QI Forum attendee participated in two different groups by the end of the second day. Each group had a designated moderator and subject matter experts. After each group session, the principal statements and findings were collated and documented; specific recommendations for each key area were crafted by the group moderator(s). The key messages and statements, produced during the two-day Forum, can be found here.


The QI Forum

The Heidelberg Quality Improvement Forum for Health (QI Forum) was established in 2014 with the aim to bring quality improvement (OI) and health system strengthening (HSS) experts together and build a platform for information, exchange, critical analysis and discussion of QI mechanisms, initiatives and approaches in the context of HSS.

The QI Forum is organised by evaplan International Health at the University Hospital Heidelberg in collaboration with the AQUA Institute, Göttingen and the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University. For the 2017 QI Forum evaplan has partnered with ISQua, The International Society for Quality in Health.

The Organisers

evaplan International Health at the University Hospital Heidelberg is a consultancy company that undertakes advisory missions and engages in operational research, project implementation and training in the field of international health and social protection.

The International Society for Quality in Healthcare, ISQua,  is a global organisation with a network of members that spans over 100 countries. ISQua provides services and develops partnerships which improve the delivery of health care for patients, their families and the organisations administering that care. ISQua offers a professional development education programme and is involved in the accreditation of national and regional health care facilities worldwide.

The Institute for Applied Quality Improvement and Research in Health Care GmbH, AQUA, is an independent and impartial corporation that provides services for quality assurance. AQUA is one of the most experienced and successful providers of concepts and problem solving in the field of healthcare quality improvement in Germany.  The Institute is one of the pioneers of medical quality circles (peer review groups), the evaluation of new treatment models, the development and implementation of quality indicators, patient surveys, and data driven quality management. 

The Heidelberg Institute of Public Health, Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University, contributes to the improvement of health through research, teaching and direct services in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa and Asia, and at home. Research projects focus on identifying disease risk factors and health care needs, discovering new approaches to improve population health, and establishing novel models of health care provision.