GGI launches Special Interest Group on Governance at EHMA 2019

July 2019

Nicole Sochen - Good Governance Institute

Our GGI team recently returned from a successful trip to the annual European Health Management Association (EHMA) conference in Espoo, Finland.

GGI newcomer, communications specialist, Nicole Sochen, sat down with the team to find out more about the event and specifically the launch of our new Special Interest Group (SIG) on Governance.

How has GGI and EHMA worked together in the past?

Ian Brandon, Consultant: We’ve been a member of the organisation for three years and have attended this conference for the same amount of time. One of the benefits has been the opportunity it’s afforded us to connect with colleagues – mostly from Europe but noticeably this year, from across the globe. Some of the discussions we’ve had have led us to publish several reports focusing on governance in EnglandItaly and the Netherlands.

For anyone who was not in attendance can you tell us briefly about EHMA2019?

Andy Payne, GGI Associate: It was a coming together of health stakeholders from around the world. The format was several presentations and networking events over three days. The themes for this year’s conference were Digital Transformation, Personalisation, Value-based care, Sustainability and Integration.

GGI’s main activity at the event was to launch a new SIG on Governance. Please tell us more.

Laura Botea, Programmes Director: Governance underlies how all organisations are run. Our participation at EHMA2019 gave us the opportunity to bring together a group of individuals within the sector, with representation from different areas of specialisation, roles and responsibility, to start a conversation about the ever-changing face of healthcare and the common governance challenges we are facing. This moved into identifying governance priorities and how good governance can be harnessed to tackle the challenges, and ultimately, impact positively on healthcare outcomes.

What were some of the outcomes of the initial discussions?

Laura: We acknowledged that the structure of healthcare may differ from country to country. For example, in Romania the government still plays a significant role in the running of the healthcare sector, while the NHS is perceived as being more independent. At the same time we also realised that there is also commonality in many of our governance and other challenges, such as those associated with patient care, patient outcomes and the collaborative efforts of integration of health and social care. This reality offers us the opportunity to explore, share and learn from best practise, as well as, collaborate across different contexts.

Now that it’s been established what are the ongoing objectives of the SIG on Governance?

Ian: While we attracted significant interest and commitment at the event, this is only the beginning of the conversation. We want to grow the network and encourage ongoing collaboration through discussion, visits and study tours. Following on from these activities our aim is to compile free-to-access knowledge reports offering practical solutions to global challenges in healthcare, with the ultimate objective of supporting organisations and suppliers in improving their practises and how they work together.

Good Governance Institute EHMA 2019  Finland
Left to right: Andy Payne, Laura Botea and Ian Brandon at EHMA 2019 Annual Conference – Espoo, Finland.

Over the course of the 3-day conference did any other presentations stand out for you?

Ian: Helsinki Hospital gave an overview of its 360-degree sustainability plan including a review of energy usage, procurement, procedure, transport and amenities. Some of the practical solutions that form part of their quality improvement process include appointing eco-coordinators at board level, changing to LED lighting and introducing reusable aprons in operating theatres. Another was by PhD students from across Europe who were presented innovative ways to use excess pharmaceuticals.

Is the SIG on Governance a closed group? If not, how can others get involved and what elements are available to them?

Laura: No, we would like to invite all healthcare leaders, researchers, policy makers and clinicians, to collaborate. We would like the SIG to exist as a base to share knowledge, and develop concrete practical tools and resources on governance we can all use.

For more information regarding GGI’s Special Interest Group on Governance please visit the SIG page online and register your interest to receive regular updates. Alternatively please contact Programmes Director, Laura Botea, via email at: for all your queries. 

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