Paediatrician Richard Matsas has been to a few conferences in his time, but he says the APAC Forum is different.
The Clinical Lead of Medical Inpatient Services at Middlemore’s Kidz First, he says the forum’s lateral approach to learning is refreshing.
“When you think of a medical conference it is rather impersonal, whereas APAC [Forum] from the start is quite unifying. There was a sense that everyone was there with a common purpose,” Dr Matsas says.
“APAC [Forum] stands out as being different, and refreshingly different, because [other conferences] focus on the medical provision side whereas this is about innovation and change.”
The intensive session ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace’ proved to be an inspiring start to the conference. “I came away with a better understanding of mindfulness and how it can be relevant to anyone working in a hospital, or a busy setting,” he says.
Dr Matsas described the plenary sessions as excellent, mentioning Ruby Wax as highly entertaining while deeply pertinent with her messages on mindfulness.
He also mentioned that Ko Awatea director Prof Jonathon Gray spoke very well about the need to eradicate differential medical experiences and create greater systems of information sharing, adding this is deeply relevant to health innovation.
A favourite speaker of mine was Mike Wagner, Chief Teaching Officer from the Advisory Board Company. His focus was transcending one’s sense of norm in order to achieve excellence through an effective change process. He encouraged a sense of ‘play’ in addressing the change process and highlighted the need to cede control and promote bottom-up distributive leadership.
A session delivered by Dr Uma Kotagal, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Transformation and Executive Director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was helpful in showing innovative ways of managing patient flow, he says. Writing precise discharge criteria at the point of admission is one initiative which has helped to effect shortened hospital stays at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and could be beneficial here in New Zealand, Dr Matsas says.
The ‘ready made’ session on co-design (seeking consumer feedback and opinion to help design better systems and improve the patient journey) was also useful while considering how to enhance patient satisfaction.
Overall, he says APAC Forum 2015 gave him a sense of understanding and pride in Ko Awatea, and help for moving forward.
“It has certainly helped me think about things in a different way and I found it provided tools which can help me along my journey to further understanding leadership and change.”