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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Quality and the Quality Conference




Quality oriented conferences have become prolific these days, even in the Medical Laboratory arena.  This actually makes a lot of sense because Quality has become a very relevant issue at almost every level.  It is a HOT topic.

There are so many aspects of Quality that touch the Laboratory arena include Costs, Clinical Relevancy, Patient Safety, Culture, Risk.  It has become near impossible to keep up with moving trends and recent advances if you are not connected to the Quality community.  

For those of you that visit this site from time to time, you may recall a post that I wrote about 9 months ago:  see http://www.medicallaboratoryquality.com/2014/07/quality-standardization-and-mh17.html  in which I argued the downsides of conference travel including cost, and risk.  Perhaps you may think that my now planning on hosting a meeting might seem a bit hypocritical.  

I would not agree.  Thinking in terms of Risk, one can look at conferences from both a occurrence/severity perspective and a risk/benefit perspective, and I can argue that if a meeting has high enough value of information and is held in a really nice and low risk environment and at a fair cost then the balance of factors leans strongly to the side of hosting and attending.  

So I will start from the positive high value side, or as Crosby would say it “Quality has to be defined as conformance to requirements”.  Will the meeting meet customer requirements?

In a short 2 and a half days, we will have speakers talking on Health-Quality-and the Law, on Safety as the Quality Imperative, on Modern Tools for the Modern Quality Manager, and on techniques to solidify the Culture of Quality.   It will be difficult to find a meeting that will provide a better array of topics.  Within those subjects we will talk about Teaching Quality to Adult Learners, reducing risk through Conflict Resolution, Establishing real time inventories of laboratory error and safety accidents and injuries,  We will look at calculating true costs of poor Quality (how Crosbyesque is that!) and determining risk in pre-and post examination processes.  

We will have presentations and roundtable discussions, and presenter contact time and the opportunities for posters and sponsor interactions.  All in all, this will be a high content conference.  This is exactly the structure that meets the Andragogy criteria for Adult Learning. 

In terms of the potential for bad outcomes by every measure they are very small.  The conference is being held in one of the most picturesque cities in North America (Vancouver BC) at a time with little risk for inclement weather, and essentially no risk for personal adversity.  Vancouver is an ideal city; big enough to be world class, but not so big that you get swamped and hit with major costs.  It is a major travel destination, with easy access from across Canada, the United States, Western Europe and Asia.   Thanks to the recent Olympics there is a truly beautiful and efficient airport, to be sure.  

 So it would be fair, reasonable and accurate to say with conviction that the potential for downside risk from either the occurrence or severity perspective is low-low-low.  

Some of you will want to know more and for those of you interested the preliminary website is available now at:  http://polqm.ca/conference_2015/home.html .

I look forward to meeting with some of you in Vancouver from October 28-30, 2015.  

More information will be available shortly. 
I will keep you informed.


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