Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care

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Apr 30, 2018
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care

Supplement featuring several peer-reviewed articles reflects on discussions at Salzburg Global health session Participants in discussion during the Salzburg Global session, Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?

A supplement highlighting the conclusions reached after a Salzburg Global Seminar session has been published in the International Journal for Quality Health Care (ISQua).

The publication, authored by M. Rashad Massoud, Leighann E Kimble, Don Goldmann, John Ovretveit, and Nancy Dixson, reflects on the discussions and deliberations which took place at Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?, a session held in July 2016.

This program sought to examine how health and health care professionals could better understand how results achieved were attributable to interventions conducted.

In the background section of the supplement, readers are informed, “The field is at a stage where we must now improve our understanding of how we learn about the changes we test and implement. This means that we need to better understand whether or not the results being realized are related to the interventions we are testing and implementing. If so, we must also understand to what extent, how they worked and why, as well as whether the changes are generalizable or only specific to that context. The answers to these questions are not straightforward. The purpose of the Salzburg Global Seminar — Session 565 was to convene and address these questions and to think through how to approach this concern emerging in the field of quality improvement.”

Following an informative four-day program, participants took away knowledge to help in the design, implementation, and evaluation of improvement. They also left Salzburg with a greater understanding of which activities under which conditions were most effective at achieving sustained results in health outcomes.

Salzburg Global organized the session in partnership with the USAID ASSIST Project and the New Ventures Fund. M. Rashad Massoud, director of the USAID ASSIST Project and senior vice president of the Quality and Performance Institute at University Research Co, took on the role as session chair.

Work undertaken at the session helped enable several peer-reviewed articles to be included in the supplement, all of which address a key component of the discussions which took place.

Among the conclusions reached, the authors behind the supplement agreed, “The session quickly revealed that to find solutions to these issues, implementers, evaluators and researchers must work together to better learn about improvement activities. This is in contrast to the current situation in which evaluators too often work independently, rather than collaboratively, with improvement program designers and implementers…

“… In essence, participants concluded that the principal accomplishment of the Seminar was to ‘marry’ the world of improvement and evaluation to bridge gaps. A ‘wedding ceremony’ between rigorous implementation and insightful evaluation concluded the Seminar in the inspiring environment of the Schloss Leopoldskron and its magical surroundings where the 'Sound of Music' was filmed.”

To read the supplement published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, please click here. To learn more about Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? and explore other related articles, please click here. Salzburg Global’s report of the session can be read below.