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conferences and talks

Kate Adlington: Is there such a thing as the “right diagnosis”? Review from the Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference 2016

26 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

kate_adlington_picAs doctors, we probably already consider ourselves honorary members of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). It’s essentially part of our job description. But there is an option to become a fully paid up member. Founded in 2011 by US doctor Mark Graber, the SIDM is an international organisation that is dedicated to honouring all those who have been harmed by diagnostic error—aiming to create a “world where diagnosis is accurate, timely, and efficient.”

The society has hosted several international conferences on diagnostic error. June 2016 saw the first such conference to be hosted in Europe, with international healthcare colleagues travelling to the impressive Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. more…

Deborah Kirkham: Mind the technology gap—how can the NHS bridge it?

20 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

deborah_kirkhamI find the exhibition halls at conferences fascinating. They provide an interface between private and public sector which many clinicians are not exposed to in their day to day work. There’s the private companies with their baristas and artisan coffee beans; a stand that’s bigger than the square footage of an average UK home, and so many lights, screens, and colours, that one can only stand and gaze in wonder. At others, more modest organisations, or perhaps more modest public sector budgets, stretch to a branded tablecloth, a pop-up banner, and a free pen. more…

Sarah Walpole: Collaborating across continents—what is the best that technology can offer?

4 Jul, 16 | by BMJ

sarah_walpole_2016The world may be getting smaller, but it’s not getting simpler. In the lead up to the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) annual conference 2016, we are working to prepare sessions fit for an international audience and our globalised world.

A symposium I was part of last year at AMEE on “Social accountability: medical students as leaders for sustainable healthcare” addressed a new and challenging topic from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Yet there was one major aspect of that symposium that we wish we’d done better: creating an environment for active participation, group work, and networking. more…

Evidence Live 2016: Whither evidence in the social media world?

9 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

evidence_live_2016

In the run up to Evidence Live 2016, we are running a series of blogs by the conference speakers discussing what they will be talking about at the conference.

The tired old trope of “my evidence” vs “your evidence” is endlessly rehearsed on the social media discussions and comments sections. Powerful groups—both corporate and voluntary—deploy effective media strategies to undermine scientific claims that run counter to their interests. And now personalisation of social media means that we exist in a “filter bubble” in which we never see things we don’t already like. “Intellectual pudding,” when what we need is “vegetables” (Pariser 2011). In an era of clickbait, trolling, and sockpuppets, what chance does good quality evidence stand? more…

Desmond O’Neill: Ageing—simply complicated

7 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Des O Neill 2015Carinthia is a fascinating corner of Austria, formally included in the new Austrian Republic in a plebiscite in 1919 and imbued with the confluence of Austrian, Slovenian, and Italian cultures. Packed with history and culture, it provided rich material for underpinning a keynote lecture for the Austrian Geriatrics and Gerontology Society conference in Villach on how geriatricians approach their own personal future with ageing.

Ageing is a topic best approached through the Microsoft mantra of “think global, act local” at many levels, because there is an ever-present danger of considering that ageing, and its inherent vulnerabilities, is something that happens to other people. more…

Ashish K Jha and Liana Woskie: Funding, trust, and the 69th World Health Assembly

6 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

Ashish-Jha-Photo_2Liana-Woskie-Photo2By traditional measures, the recent World Health Assembly (WHA) was a success. The assembly, which governs the World Health Organization (WHO), passed resolutions on important topics such as reducing traffic accidents; improving nutrition; and promoting integrated, patient centered care. All good things. But the west African Ebola outbreak and WHO’s failure to respond effectively cast a long shadow.

Margaret Chan, the director general of the WHO, started the assembly with a warning on infectious disease readiness: “The world is not prepared to cope.” more…

David Payne: Do we still need hospitals (and hospital beds)?

3 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

IMG_0495During a conference coffee break last week two physiotherapists pushed a hospital bed through the networking area, along with a wheelie bin overflowing with “redundant” bed-related paraphernalia—monitors, clipboards, etc.

The hospital where Shanna Bloemen and Yvonne Geurts work plans to remove beds during the day to encourage patients to get active and get out of the wards. Implementation is due to begin in the department of cardiothoracic surgery and will be extended to others over time. more…

Recognising vulnerabilities and building resilience: A UK conference on migrant health

3 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

sarah_migrant_conference“My problem is your problem.” These were the words of a mother of four who has been waiting for a decision on her asylum claim for 17 years, and who was an attendee and speaker at the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) migrant health conference last Friday.

Her declaration was not a demand that the audience recognise or help with the challenges she has faced; she was explaining the attitude that had helped her to turn her life around after she arrived in the UK. Not being able to work, hardly being able to afford food for her children, and being away from the people she knew and loved was difficult. What gave her a sense of purpose and lifted her out of depression was finding an opportunity to offer something to a community. She took on roles supporting other migrants, participating in health research, and acting as a service user representative. more…

David Payne: Matisse, decoupage, and digital health

1 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

cutout_a_textAre there lessons in the life and work of French artist Henri Matisse that could help regulators navigate the brave new world of digital healthcare? How can the experience of Matisse—who radically and constantly reinvented himself throughout his career—support organisations with responsibility for regulating apps and other innovations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency? more…

Tessa Richards: “Burnout shops” are bad for health

24 May, 16 | by BMJ

Tessa_richardsBurnout is a pervasive problem. Its high prevalence among health professionals is well recognised. But the extent of its impact on the quality, safety, and cost of patient care needs more scrutiny, agreed participants at the WELL-Med conference in Greece last week.

“Fixing toxic workplaces rather than fixing the people” who suffer from working in them should also be a priority, said the guru of burnout research, Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California. She went on to warn that “the number of organisations” whose policies seem designed to make them “burnout shops” is rising. more…

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