Sunday, November 23, 2008

International Hospital Federation and HDI Team Up in China

After teaching the Effective Hospital Management workshop to 25 Chinese TB hospital managers, I am overwhelmed with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude for the role HDI is playing to improve health around the globe. The International Hospital Federation sponsored this one week conference November 17-22 with a grant from Eli Lilly and Co. to develop the management skills for TB hospital leaders across the country.

China leads the world in the prevalence of multiple drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) with government hospitals in every province filled to capacity and community-based detection programs stressed by limited resources. The highly contagious airborne pulmonary disease has the potential to become a global epidemic unless it is contained in the volatile environments of developing countries. The purpose of this workshop was to equip hospital and program leaders with management skills and insights to leverage their potential in the battle against the disease.

Their responsiveness proved that HDI is offering a uniquely valuable service. The managers represented almost 6,000 inpatient beds, plus outpatient clinics, and over 8,000 employees serving hundreds of thousands of patients in more than 20 provinces. The conference hosted representatives from South Africa and India as well where MDR-TB is also on the rise. Wise management of resources has the potential to prevent the spread of the disease to millions. Infection rates are already as high as 45% in places like China. Keeping those infections from becoming active, contagious cases will require management excellence at every level. HDI is beginning to play a small but critical role in the fight against the threat of a global epidemic.

The experience of this workshop affirmed some positive directions for HDI:

• Participants appreciated the interactive teaching method, case studies and group projects. The HDI approach is a welcome change from didactic traditions, leaving them both informed and inspired to share with others.
• The course improvements won high praise, but constructive feedback also showed the need for continuing development of the curriculum.
• Developing relationships with the International Hospital Federation, Eli Lilly and Co., and TB program leaders in both South Africa and India have the potential to expand HDI’s global role significantly in the next few years.
• We are leveraging the impact of HDI’s voluntary efforts by sharing the workshop materials freely. We are training each participant to be a trainer in his/her own facilities, sparking an “epidemic” of wise management.

By the end of the week, I received invitations to South Africa and India, and positive affirmations for the potential of more workshops and mentoring relationships in China. It’s an exciting time for HDI.