CHANGE for the better: HMI Annual Conference

Health Minister, Dr. Leo Varadkar is among leading Irish and overseas healthcare leaders who will examine the future direction and governance of the Irish health services at the HMI National Conference which will be held in the Concert Hall in the RDS Dublin on Wednesday, September 30 next, writes Maureen Browne.

HMI Annual Conference 2015
HMI Annual Conference 2015 www.hmi.ie/conference

Change For The Better” is the theme of the Conference which will explore how innovation and technology can help health managers to harness possibilities with the potential to radically alter how Irish health services are delivered.

The Conference will include sessions on “Innovation and Change,” “Enhancing Governance,” “Success Stories” and “Developing our Services.”

HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene, who will officially open the Conference at 8.45, said there was a more upbeat story in terms of the broader economy and a return of the ‘can-do’ mentality to the work environment. For health service managers, challenges remained as resources were stretched by the needs of an ageing population and the increasing burden of chronic diseases. At all times the aim of health managers remained the same: delivering care which is safe, compassionate, and with best outcomes for patients and families. However, such care also needed to provide value to the system as a whole.

The aim of health managers remained the same: Delivering care which is safe, compassionate, and with best outcomes for patients and families.

These possibilities of innovation and technology were not confined to the treatment of illness. They could fundamentally change the ‘when and where’ of service delivery and enable better communication and decision-making for managers and clinicians across the services.

“The increasing demands on the healthcare system mean that we need to look to a different approach to care – one which truly encompasses all stakeholders, utilising technologies and multimedia platforms to create a safe, efficient and seamless service.

“Accountability and good governance remain central to all that we undertake. In an era where patients are increasingly knowledgeable and vocal when outcomes have been compromised, managers have a responsibility to improve governance structures, policies and procedures. Our expert speakers will probe these complexities and assess what we have learned so far.

In the first session “Innovation and Change” which will be chaired by the HMI President, Mr. Chris James Health Policy Analyst, OECD will speak on “Sustainable Health Spending.” He will outline a simple financial planning tool to identify the ‘fiscal space’ available for health over the next 10 years given macroeconomic and public finance conditions. This model aims to help managers to understand the implications of different policies and assumptions.

Managers have a responsibility to improve governance structures, policies and procedures.

Health Minister Dr. Leo Varadkar will discuss the national context in which government health strategies are shaped with particular reference to key priorities for those managers in the health services who are responsible for the implementation of these strategies.

Ms. Rosarii Mannion newly appointed HSE National Director, Human Resources will speak on HR: Setting A New Agenda.” She will set out the priorities for HR in supporting line managers to select and develop their people and achieve high levels of engagement. She believes focusing on these priorities will enable health service organisations to become the employers of choice for skilled professionals in Ireland and from overseas.

Dr. Colman Casey Administrative Director for Research and Industrial Liaison, College of Medicine and Health, UCC; Interim Director, Cork Science and Innovation Park; Interim Director Demonstrator, Health Innovation Hub (HIH) will discussCollaborating to Innovate.” The HIH supports the collaboration of multiple stakeholders working to develop new approaches to improve patient care and Dr. Casey will discuss why he thinks these collaborations are essential and how they can bring a quantum change in delivering enhanced services and improving the use of resources.

The second session “Enhancing Governance,” will be chaired by Ms. Mo Flynn, Group Chief Executive, Rehab Group. It will explore how effective governance is an essential dimension of all healthcare delivery systems which are becoming increasingly complex with policy, managerial and ethical dilemmas challenging the governance capacity in the health service in Ireland and internationally.

Prof. Mary Day, Group CEO, Ireland East Hospital Group will speak onBoard on Board.” She will describe both the approach and outcomes of the pilot programme introduced by the Mater Hospital and the Quality Improvement Division of the HSE. This approach is designed to enhance the Board of Directors’ role in overseeing and contributing to the improvement of the quality of care provided at the clinical front line.

Mr. David Flory, Chief Executive, NHS Trust Development Authority (Retired) will discussHow Managers Can Deliver Safe Services.” He has completed a review of maternity services in two Irish hospitals, and will bring his extensive experience as a leader in the NHS to the discussion about what managers have to do to deliver safer services in the Irish health system.

Ms. Martina Queally, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare Organisation, Dublin South East/Wicklow will speak onQuality and Safety in Community Services.” She will set out the challenges faced in providing effective governance when delivering healthcare in community settings and outline some of the initiatives planned to enhance the quality of services provided.

This session will be followed by a panel discussion.

The third session which is titled “Success Stories,” and which will be chaired by Mr. Derek Greene, will look at innovative ways in which some colleagues have demonstrated the ‘can do’ attitude in their approach to resolving issues across different sectors of healthcare provision.

Mr. Eamonn Fitzgerald Member, HMI Council and Chief Executive, Hermitage Medical Clinic will speak on the HMI Leaders Award 2015. Launched in 2014, the HMI Leaders Award recognises leaders who are bringing about changes in healthcare, delivering improvements in patient outcomes, enhancing service delivery and improving resource allocation. It showcases the commitment, risk and perseverance which teams and individuals display in leading change.

Mr. Jim Breslin Secretary General, Department of Health will speak onPolicies, Priorities and Practices.” He will identify some of the major achievements which have been made in the past year and discuss the new policies, priorities and practices which will play an important part in shaping the development of the services in the coming twelve months.

The final session of the day will be on “Developing our Services” and will be chaired by Ms. Kathleen O’Meara, Head of Advocacy and Communications, Irish Cancer Society. It will examine how the provision of sustainable healthcare in the future depends on developing the capability to deliver high quality and safe healthcare in the community and in people’s homes rather than healthcare institutions. For the patient, this means the right care, in the right place, with appropriate and timely delivery.

Dr. Áine Carroll, HSE National Director, Clinical Strategy and Programmes will speak on “Connected Care.” She will describe the key features and benefits of a connected health strategy and will argue that joined-up thinking, based on a shared philosophy, with better use of technology and changed practices, are necessary for further progress to be made.

Prof. Seamas Donnelly, Chair of Clinical Medicine, Tallaght Hospital and Trinity College Dublin will speak onTechnology as a Game Changer.” Prof. Donnelly is one of the pioneers in Ireland in the use of technology to provide care in the community. He will discuss its potential to change the point of health service delivery and the benefits these changes will have for service users and providers.

Mr. Liam Woods, HSE Interim National Director, Acute Services, will speak onMaking a Difference at the Point of Care.” With the emphasis in the acute care sector on Hospital Groups, Mr. Woods believes it is vital that policy makers and managers remember that the focus of change must be directed at the point of delivery. He will discuss various initiatives which will make a real difference to service users and reduce the reliance on care in acute settings.

This will be followed by a panel discussion and then a Conference summary by the HMI President. The Conference is recognised for six CPD points.