Day 1 at the Future Health Summit. Always great to get out of the office and hear people from across the Irish health sector talk about what is going well and what isn’t.

What I particularly enjoy about this conference is the inspiring speakers from other European countries. As several people emphasised, it isn’t about copying other health systems but is about learning from them. Personally, copying Serbia’s EHR and Outpatient management system implementation wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Waiting lists gone (and an example of superb project management). Something I’m interested to find out more about is how the issue of patient privacy was managed by Serbia, Macedonia and Estonia. With close to 100% population participation in their digital health systems it clearly isn’t ‘opt in’, so the ‘public good’ argument has outweighed concerns about sharing personal data.

Prof. Dr. Arne Björnberg was refreshingly frank about the performance of the Irish health system. His organisation, Health Powerhouse has been gathering and analysing data from European health systems for over ten years and their reports paint a clear picture of systems that are working and strategies that are having an impact (e.g. Serbia). There are a few surprises in their latest report not least of which was the correlation between good system performance and high expenditure. None. Well worth a read.

The personal highlight of today’s session at the Future Health Summit was the presentation by Dr Carmel Sheridan, Group Director of Patient Quality and Safety at Bon Secours Health System. “The Bons”, as it is affectionately known, was our first client in Ireland. They aspire to be a world leading health care provider and the strategy that sits behind their patient experience work with Cemplicity gives me confidence they are achieving this aim. They understand the link between staff and patient engagement, the importance of compassion in health care and why patient experiences are different from customer experiences. They have also planned the whole journey from capturing feedback to ensuring it drives real improvement. In true leadership style, they are open about their approach and their publication on their patient engagement strategy is a useful document for others embarking on this continuous improvement journey.

Looking forward to Day 2.