As I move more actively towards my retirement from my university career, I find myself thinking about what I have enjoyed doing the most under the university banner.
One of my most significant mentors talked regularly about university activity as being like a three-legged chair; with the legs being education, research and outreach. At its best, university life is inherently unstable, but if one is active in all three aspects, the chair can remain intact, but if one of the three legs is ignored or broken, the whole university experience will assuredly falls apart. I have always seen the wisdom in this and have spent my career ensuring that I am engaged in all three, to the extent possible, all the time.
For me, I think the piece that I have always enjoyed the most has been outreach both inside and outside the university confines.
Putting on conferences and workshops is a big part of outreach and education. Attending conferences is a big part of education and research because conferences and workshops can be the cornerstone of new ideas and new knowledge. Combining the two becomes a triple-win experience.
So this October 23 we will be continuing with our tradition of October Quality Conferences, on the theme: Medical Laboratory Quality Improvement: Knowing Your Customers.
This may seem to be a unusual theme for a department of pathology but for Laboratory Medicine knowing and understanding who is your customer is vitally important.
Over the past two decades healthcare has put the banner on the wall “We are Committed to Patient-Centred Care” but for too many these are only words. Listening and discussing with those who have actually attached actions to the words is a day well spend.
So we will be talking about technology assisted satisfaction monitoring, and hearing from laboratories that have moved from theory to practice. We will be hearing about Kano and Service Excellence and how this can be applied as another step forward in improvement.
There are a few spots not yet finalized. If you have some thoughts let me know. I don't promise paying your way to Vancouver to attend and present, but I can guarantee we will listen.
This is not our first Quality Conference, but we will be trying out something new (for us).
Coming to Vancouver in the age of expensive airfares and cities with choking street congestion can be difficult to justify, even if there is a really interesting show to see. So this year we are planning to provide streaming video for those unable to physically attend. It will not provide all the same experiences with full and open dialogue, but you will still be a part of the experience.
For those interested, keep your eye on: http://polqm.med.ubc.ca/2018-polqm-conference/ or better still go there now and register at the early-bird rate.