Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Two Stars and a Cast of Thousands

I spent last weekend proof reading the programme for the forthcoming ISQua Annual International Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. By the time I reached page 76 I was both exhausted and impressed. The number and quality of the various activities is staggering. Of course I thought I knew what was on offer before I embarked on the proof reading exercise but was unprepared for the sheer volume, diversity and quality of what awaits delegates in just a few short weeks.

There are six plenaries presented by people any of us would cross the world to see on topics ranging from how we communicate to improve the quality movement; to a new approach to managing complexity in healthcare; to improving quality and efficiency through workflow management.

There are 250 presentations of 15 to 90 minutes and 367 posters covering all manner of safety and quality topics. These have been selected from 1300 abstracts submitted in the hope of being chosen to feature. The presentations cover nine themes or tracks, including Patient Safety and Patient Centered Care, Informatics, Education, Low and Middle Income Countries, Population Health, Governance and External Evaluation.
I never cease to be amazed and impressed with the amount of work that goes into providing delegates with a scientifically challenging and enlightening conference programme while at the same time ensuring that ample opportunities are available for networking. Then there is organising the half dozen or so social events, ensuring there is a mix of accommodation options, resourcing the various information points so no delegate question goes unanswered, meeting and greeting, convening around 16 business meetings, securing sponsorship and exhibitors preparing and erecting signage, organising food and beverage and, in the case of Edinburgh ORGANISING KILTS FOR HIRE! And our friends and colleagues in Scotland have been beside us all the way in this.

The stars of this show are of course the speakers and you, the delegates – the cast of thousands - but behind the scene stars are without a doubt our Events Manager Eadin Murphy and Deputy CEO Triona Fortune.

And it is not enough that Eadin and Triona are ‘up to their necks’ in Edinburgh Conference organisation but they are also busy with Brazil 2014, Qatar 2015, Japan 2016 and Europe 2017.

And the considerations range from the reading of 1300 abstracts and assigning them to reviewers for double blind reviews to orchestrating the opening ceremony with its various dignitaries and VIPs and deciding whether the Millennium Clock should be activated during the Welcome Reception at the Edinburgh Museum – and yes, hiring kilts.

So, many thanks to the cast of thousands and special recognition of the two stars of the show.

Peter Carter
Chief Executive Officer
September 2013

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