Delivering Truly Sustainable and High Value Health Care

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Oct 30, 2013
by Louise Hallman
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Delivering Truly Sustainable and High Value Health Care

Salzburg Global health care Fellows gather in Boston The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA (photo: MGH)

Every health care economy in the world is resource constrained – whether in the context of a lower income country marshalling whatever resources are available; an emerging economy struggling to keep up with economic transformation and popular expectations; or a country such as the United States with health care costs now at about 18% of GDP and likely to continue rising at 1.5% the rate of GDP growth.

The search is on everywhere to sustain and improve quality of health care within existing parameters, to ensure that capacity is tied to what patients need and want rather than being supply driven, to reduce unwarranted practice variation, and to innovate to achieve greater value.

Cross-border learning in how best to pursue these goals can achieve more than is possible in one country alone.

Since 2010, over the course of its five-session series, Salzburg Global Seminar has brought together over 270 experts from 65 countries working in the field of health and health care innovation – the perfect grouping to share such cross-border learning.

On Wednesday, October 30, 22 of these Fellows, together with 21 other health care professionals, will come together at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA to share their expert knowledge and experiences, and ultimately maximize the potential of cross-border learning.

Over the course of the full-day program, organized by Salzburg Global Program Director John Lotherington in collaboration with MGH, the 43 Fellows will tackle a number of questions:

  • How do we maintain momentum when we hit the 'flat of the curve' when extra resources apparently yield little improvement?
  • How do we get to the next level of quality improvement in low and middle income countries?
  • How can cross-border learning maximize real value and innovation in health care delivery?
  • How can we engage vulnerable communities?
  • What is the significance of the global 'right to health' discussion for the USA?
  • How can we be innovative in resource constrained contexts?
  • What is the role of quality improvement in strengthening health systems?
  • Can we collectively improve the science?

Speakers for the program include Katrina Armstrong, Physician-in-Chief in the Department of Medicine, at MGH and her colleague Timothy Ferris, Medical Director, Mass General Physicians; as well as returning Salzburg faculty Maria-Luisa Escobar and Roberto Iunes from the World Bank Institute; Jaime Bayona, Public Health Advisor with the World Bank; M. Rashad Massoud, Director of the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) at URC-CHS, who was chair of the 2012 Salzburg Global session ‘Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies: What are the next steps and how do we get there?’; and Albert Mulley, Director, Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and co-chair of Salzburg Global’s most recent Health and Health Care Innovation Series session ‘Realizing the Right to Health: How can a rights-based approach best contribute to the strengthening, sustainability and equity of access to medicines and health systems?’ A full list of all speakers can be found on the session page.

Salzburg Global’s “Fourth Founder”, Herb Gleason will also be speaking at the event. Gleason was formerly Chairman of the Board of Health and Hospitals of the City of Boston, and served as faculty on Salzburg Global’s first ever health care focused session ‘Health Care: Allocating Resources in Urban Societies’ in 1979, as well as multiple other health care sessions since.

A reception will be held after the full-day program at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at MGH.

The sixth session in the Health and Health Care Innovation series will be held in December 2013.

Registration is currently still open for ‘The Drive for Universal Health Coverage: Health Care Delivery Science and the Right to High-Value Health Care’.