The 44th World Hospital Congress held in Barcelona from 8 to 11 November brought together members of the International Federation of Hospitals (IHF) and the heads of hospitals, health services and health organizations. This discussion forum was used to address key factors in planning, management and financial trends at the national and international levels. This event is a facilitator of multidisciplinary exchange of knowledge and experiences combined with dialogue on best practices in leadership, management and service delivery.
This edition of the congress, held annually in a different city, was promoted jointly by La Unió Catalana d’Hospitals (La Unió) and the IHF. The director general of La Unió, Roser Fernández, pointed out the importance of “focusing on health from a patient-centred perspective and with a vision for the future and for change, while observing how COVID-19 has accelerated the need to transform healthcare systems around the world”. Along the same lines, the President of La Unió, Enric Mangas, stated that one of the objectives of the event was to transform health systems to offer a comprehensive approach to people and reverse the inequalities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The congress included 75 sessions with more than 300 speakers representing 70 different countries. Over four days, the congress was attended by 1,200 delegates and 300 virtual connection points were set up. The programme revolved around three major topics:
The TIC Salut Social Foundation hosted a session on the Digital transformation of healthcare in Catalonia: from theory to practice in which different healthcare professionals and authorities in the field of health and digital society took part as speakers.
The structured session with a presentation and two round tables reflected on digital transformation as an opportunity for organizations. Digitalize processes and redesign them from the perspective of healthcare professionals and the public,
In the initial presentation, Josuè Sallent, director of the TIC Salut Social Foundation, outlined the foundation's lines of work on digital transformation: the definition of the benchmark non-face-to-face and digital care model (LATITUD), mConnecta as platform for integrating data from mobile applications, new remote care channels using 5G and the Artificial Health Intelligence Programme.
Diabetes, heart failure and digital imaging
The first round table presented three experiences of digital transformation applied to different processes and organizations: diabetes, heart failure, and medical imaging.
Dr Juana Flores, deputy director of care and head of endocrinology and nutrition, explained how at the Hospital del Mar telemedicine used in relation to diabetic patients has been shown to have a positive impact on glucose control and adherence to treatment.
Dr Sergi Yun, who specializes in internal medicine in the Multidisciplinary Community Heart Failure Unit of Bellvitge University Hospital, explained different initiatives carried out to evaluate the impact of eHealth applied to the case of patients in vulnerable stages of heart failure. He emphasized the need for an integrated healthcare process to optimize the efficiency of eHealth solutions.
Finally, Dr Salvador Pedraza, territorial director of radiology and nuclear medicine in Girona, pointed out that more than 85% of medical decisions are based on radiology applied at different times such as diagnosis or treatment and pointed out how artificial intelligence can improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of health care.
The digital skills of health professionals and citizens
The second round table focused on the field of digital skills from the perspective of both health professionals and the general public.
Ms Joana Barbany, Director General of Digital Society of the Ministry of the Vice-Presidency and of Digital Policies and Territory addressed the issue from the perspective of the public. She presented the ACTIC certification (Accreditation of Competences in Information and Communication Technologies) and its main objectives:
Dr Montserrat Gea, Director General of Health Professionals of the Ministry of Health described the COMPDIG Health project. The project aims to endow health professionals with specific digital skills and create an assessment and accreditation model.
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