55th EQuiP European Conference in Thessaloniki

"Healthy Practices, Healthy Professionals, Healthier Patients" was the focus of EQuiP's 55th European Conference this year in Thessaloniki, Greece. 
Here is a selection of some of the most interesting take home messages:
1. Dr Sakellarides from NOVA University in Lisbon analysed the issues of healthcare quality across the health system, particularly considering patients with chronic conditions and social vulnerability. 
There is a need for consistent work to engage and enable all patients equally and to achieve equitable standards of care and outcomes.
2. Dr. Anthony Montgomery talked about the need for resilience for family doctors to cope with daily work. He encourages us to cultivate, teach and learn to practice this to avoid burnout. 
He said that the only burnout treatment is to leave so preventing leaving is the goal. Prof. Amanda Howe added that the WONCA Women’s Working party has just completed a report on this issue in the workforce. 
For me the best EQuiP Thessaloniki moment(s) were all the glances of recognition and sharing as ideas and feelings crossed the room. As Benit said in the closing, these are the seeds that grow into ideas - but also create the warmth of the ground they must grow in (us!).
Professor Amanda Howe, Immediate Past President  of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA)
3. Dr Rochfort made a reflection about her own work caring for doctors: High Quality Health System are provided by Healthy Doctors, therefore to care for the health of doctors is a crucial topic. She suggested some recommendations – primarily that every doctor should have their own family doctor and be comfortable to be a patient.
4. Dr Astier presented preliminary results on a Spanish National Survey on Behaviours and Attitudes of Doctors facing their own Illness (BADOSI). These were based on semi-structered interviews and focus groups with sick doctors and doctors of doctors.
5. Dr Klemenc-Ketis talked about the importance of developing communication skills to promote healthier patients and to provide patient centred health educationThe standard messages need tuning to the person who will need to take action.
6. Dr Howe made an analysis of patient safety culture in family doctors’ surgeries. She identified four habits to be a safer professional: 
- To keep up-to-date on knowledge and skills gain and retain competencies
- To strengthen resilience by adequate time to reflect and learn – especially for difficult issues 
- To enhance team work including care for others
- To self-assess our activities and duties, especailly to be alert when overloaded
The high level of organisation enabled the participants to work together very well and connect with new colleagues. Sofia’s positivity as hostess added to the success of the event – and she has now grown the reputation of Elegeia.
Dr Andrée Rochfort, the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and EQuiP Working Group Leader 
Oral presentations showed results from different primary care researchs projects regarding mainly chronic conditions and safer use of medications. 
The workshops allowed participants to learn together about eHealth, healthcare quality indicators, teaching quality to learners and professionals, providing medical care at home, healthy living styles for health professionals and identifiying issues when the doctor is the patient.
We also enjoyed a very nice social program with walking by the Thessaloniki seaside and a traditional meal with Greek Folk Music. 
A great pleasure to share projects, knowledge and experiences with such an incredible group of family doctors!
By Dr Amanda Howe and Dr María Astier
EQuiP is WONCA Europe's network for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. It has been in service for 28 years – with several working groups on topics such as patient safety, equity, quality indicators, eHealth etc. 
You all can have a closer look and interact with EQuiP online via our webpage on Facebook and Twitter
The current EQuiP President is Zalika Klemenc Ketis from Slovenia, an associate professor and family doctor. The EQuiP Manager is Ulrik Bak Kirk, who also leads the EQuiP Working Group focusing on social media. 
To become a EQuiP member and access all conference slides, presentations, abstracts see here