Singapore, Redefining healthcare quality at international conference

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




(2008), "Singapore, Redefining healthcare quality at international conference", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Singapore, Redefining healthcare quality at international conference

Article Type:News and viewsFrom: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 21, Issue 4

Keywords: Best practices, Quality and safety, Healthcare improvements

Enhancing patient safety and strengthening clinical governance are just two of the many complex and critical issues that professionals in the healthcare industry grapple with in their day-to-day work. Continuously driven by the impetus to renew their knowledge, these professionals had an opportunity to pick the brains of and exchange ideas with fellow contemporaries on best practices in healthcare.

More than 600 participants attended the Second International Conference of the Asia Pacific Society for Healthcare Quality, held in Singapore for the first time from 17 to 19 January 2008. Hailing from more than 20 countries mainly in Asia, these delegates included national health policy leaders and decision-makers, academia, healthcare professionals in all disciplines, hospital administrators, as well as accreditation and consumer organisations.

Organised by SingHealth, Singapore’s largest public healthcare group, the conference had drawn leading local and international experts in quality and safety of healthcare, who shared experiences and challenges faced in their fields. With the overall theme of “Redefining Quality in Healthcare”, these speakers addressed a wide range of topics that included patient safety, innovations in quality, infection control, chronic disease management, certification and accreditation, clinical governance and performance management, all with a focus on the Asian region.

The three-day conference was packed full with three workshops, five plenary sessions, and 15 symposiums with 48 presentations. In addition, the conference also attracted the submission of close to 200 posters from local and international participants that vied for the three Best Poster Awards, presented at the end of the conference.

“We are encouraged by the positive response and high participation rate, even though this conference is only in its second run. The quality of the presentations and poster abstracts we have received is highly commendable. So we trust that the delegates will find attending this conference an enriching experience, with many opportunities to learn new developments and exchange ideas on best practices in healthcare quality,” said Associate Professor Chan Yew Weng, Chairperson of the conference’s Organising Committee. He is also Senior Consultant Anaesthesiologist at the Singapore General Hospital.

“Healthcare delivery is immensely complex, and I believe that quality can only be achieved if we as healthcare professionals specifically work on it. There is a saying by Dr Kaoru Ishikawa, a great Japanese management thinker, that “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of an intelligent effort”. With this meeting of great minds who are passionate about quality, I hope everyone will go home equipped with new ideas for improvement and also be refreshed in their own quality journey,” said Professor Seto Wing Hong, President of the Asia Pacific Society for Healthcare Quality, and who sits on the advisory panel of the conference.

The conference got off to a rousing start at the opening ceremony, with a lively Lion Dance (a traditional dance form in Chinese culture) welcoming the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Health of Singapore.

Madam Halimah Yacob, Member of Parliament for Jurong Group Representation Constituency and Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, then delivered the keynote address on “Healthcare: A Changing Social Contract”. She painted a picture of how factors like an ageing population and rising healthcare costs would change a country’s healthcare model, as well as the challenges in effectively allocating resources to healthcare.

Following that, Professor Tan Ser Kiat, Group Chief Executive Officer of SingHealth, kicked off the first plenary session with the topic “Building Brand and Trust”, which explored the elements that make a healthcare organisation outstanding and a preferred choice for patients.

For more information:

Related articles