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Mediation in Healthcare

HOPE has recently published a report entitled Mediation in Healthcare, which presents the results of a survey aiming at comparing the scope and methodology of conflict resolution in the healthcare sector in the different EU Member States.   
In case of conflicts occurring at any level of the society, mediation is becoming a quite diffused method of Alternative Dispute Resolution, both because of its effectiveness and because its efficiency. Indeed, it is proven that this method allows reaching a more satisfying agreement between the conflicting parts, saving time and money, but also in many cases reducing the factors of stress.
The specific aim of the survey was to collect information on characteristics and use of models of mediation in healthcare matters in the Member States of the European Union. Answers were received from 12 countries: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
After a general overview, the report is divided in three sections that, following the structure of the questionnaire, investigate the typologies of mediation services, analyse and the features of healthcare mediation services, conclude with an assessment of the future of mediation, highlighting the raising importance of mediation in healthcare.
DUQuE final conference and launch of Benchmarking Platform 
Deepening our understanding of quality improvement in Europe (DUQuE) is a research project financed by the EU 7th Research Framework Programme and led by a consortium of prestigious research centres and universities in the field of health care quality in Europe. The project provides promising theoretical insights and evidence-based toolkits related to improving the effectiveness of quality improvement systems in hospitals.
Using data from 188 hospitals from seven European countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey), this four year multi-method project assessed the relationship of various quality improvement governance approaches with quality indicators of hospital care (specifically clinical effectiveness, patient safety and patient reported outcomes).
The Berlin conference presented on 17 December 2012 DUQuE’s main findings and provided a friendly, open forum for the discussion of the results. Evidence-based guidance documents, practical toolkits and appraisal schemes for hospital managers, purchasing agencies and governments interested in the development and assessment of hospital quality improvement systems were also presented. The day started with Quality and patient safety improvement in Germany presented by Günther Jonitz, Berlin Chamber of Physicians, followed by Quality and patient safety strategies in Europe by Agnieszka Daval-Cichon, European Commission DG SANCO.
The first session was then devoted to ‘Conceptual framework and objectives of the DUQUE study’ presented by Rosa Sunol, Autonomous University of Barcelona and leader of the project, while Cordula Wagner, Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research focused on ‘Hospital quality management systems: state of the art and development of a measurement tool’.
The second session ‘Making it happen: Practical, logistical, ethical and others challenges in assessing hospital quality management systems in European countries’ was an opportunity for Barbara Kutryba, European Society for Quality in Health Care and Frantisek Vlcek, Czech Accreditation Committee, to give their feedback.
The third session focused first on ‘How are the hospital cultures related to hospital quality management systems?’ (Solvejg Kristensen, RM Department of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Central Denmark Region), to then consider ‘What is the impact of quality management systems on patient level outcomes?’ (Rosa Sunol) and finally ‘Results of sensitivity analysis of the findings’ (Onyebuchi Arah, University of California, Los Angeles; Caroline Thompson, University of California, Los Angeles).
With the fourth session Oliver Groene, London School of Hygiene, presented the DUQuE Appraisal Tool.
In line with its aim to closely link the project with stakeholders, a final panel discussed the next steps: Pascal Garel, European Hospital and Healthcare Federation; Jennifer Bremner, European Health Management Association; Valentina Hafner, WHO Regional Office – EUROPE; Nicola Bedlington, European Patients’ Forum; Ales Bourek, European Society for Quality in Healthcare; Niek Klazinga, Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam.
The DUQuE consortium has also recently released a Benchmarking platform for participating hospitals to compare performance data collected in 2011 and 2012.
The benchmarking platform was designed for contributing organisations to provide comparative performance data on a selected set of indicators in four domains:
  1. Governance, quality management and culture;
  2. Clinical effectiveness outcomes;
  3. Patient involvement outcomes,
  4. Mortality outcome.
The platform allows easy access to indicators in these domains. It is based on the responses of about 10,000 professionals that contributed to surveys on governance, quality management and hospital cultures and more than 9,000 and 6,500 patients that contributed data for chart reviews and patient surveys, respectively. It is expected that the platform contributes to initiating discussions and reflections on the extent the hospital engages in quality management and improvement, and on the patient level outcomes that are achieved.