Hospital and Healthcare Leaders Discuss Learnings from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date:  06 November 2020

Hospital and Healthcare Leaders Discuss Learnings from the COVID-19 Pandemic

The IHF COVID-19 Virtual Forum concludes successfully with attendees from 56 countries

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The Learning from COVID-19, Transforming Health Services, IHF’s first virtual forum for hospital and healthcare leaders, held online on 4th – 5th November was well-attended by an international delegation from over 56 countries. The virtual forum is a build-up event leading to the 44th World Hospital Congress in Barcelona.

IHF President, Dr. Risto Miettunen said, “Being a leader of a hospital in the time of COVID-19 has taken on a full turn. It was already challenging as it is, but COVID-19 took us all by storm and changed almost everything that we do. As a hospital leader myself and the President of the IHF, I’d like to take this opportunity to honor the dedication and commitment of each individual in the healthcare industry around the world.

I believe the best lesson we’ve learned from this pandemic is that through collaboration, we can help each other. We have a lot of lessons to take away from this forum, but the best one is knowing that we have a community working together against the pandemic. I hope the spirit of collaboration doesn’t end today, may this be a practice going forward and we, in the IHF, will continue serving as a platform for this to happen.”

IHF’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Eric de Roodenbeke said, “The IHF organized this dedicated event focusing on how to best harness innovations adopted to face the crisis to accelerate the transformation of hospitals. There are several lessons regarding the nature of health systems. However, in all cases, the number one lesson is the need for hospitals to be agile. Because while this crisis is not over, we know that we will have to face another crisis but the next one will not be a replicate of this one.”

Over 60 industry experts from 30 countries shared their insights, expertise and experiences across a range of plenary discussions and concurrent sessions. Topics discussed during the first day highlighted key lessons and learnings from the pandemic. Whilst topics on the second day focused on looking forward and transforming health services in the new normal.

Also featured during the two-day forum are the presentations of the “Beyond the COVID-19 Task Force” established by the IHF. The task force produced a report and a series of case studies to support hospitals adopt practices realized during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have beneficially transformed healthcare services, and so should be sustained in the future. The report focused on three thematic areas: Healthcare Delivery and Access, Supply, Logistics, and Infrastructure and People.

Ronald Lavater, IHF’s incoming Chief Executive Officer commented, “Saying that COVID-19 placed a heavy strain in the healthcare industry globally is an understatement. It forced healthcare systems to act tactically, not everyone had the luxury of time to create a strategic approach. In this virtual forum, we hope that through the exchange of best practices and experiences, we are able to create not only a culture of collaboration, but also a strong network of healthcare leaders working together to transforming health services for the future. This aligns with IHF’s mission and the value we bring to our members.”

The forum served as a unique online opportunity to interact with the international or the health service community to come together ​to support each other through this pandemic, to share and discuss experiences, challenges, insights and solutions.

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