Health Care Leaders at eHealth Conference in Bellagio, Italy, Issue a Call to Action

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From July 12 through August 8, 2008, more than 200 global leaders in health care, technology, finance, policy, and government gathered together to share ideas on eHealth, the use of information and communications technology to improve health systems. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, and held at its Bellagio Center in Italy, the conference, entitled “Making the eHealth Connection: Global Partnerships, Local Solutions,” explored such topics as public health informatics, interoperability and standards, access to information and knowledge-sharing, eHealth capacity building, electronic health records, mobile telemedicine, unlocking eHealth markets, and eHealth policies. The goal of the conference was to discover ways to leverage eHealth to advance health services worldwide, particularly in under-resourced or developing countries.

Discussion at the conference led to a consensus on goals and priorities for the development and implementation of global, regional, national, and local eHealth systems. These recommendations were consolidated into the Bellagio eHealth Call to Action, an expression of the commitment of stakeholders to improving global health care through eHealth solutions. Supporters of the Call to Action agree to work together to improve the quality, access, affordability, and efficiency of health care through better eHealth solutions. Some specific areas of recommendation include the following:

  • Policy Issues: Setting global agendas for eHealth implementation and policy discussion; encouraging governments to adopt a culture of eHealth interoperability based on open standards; increasing intergovernmental endorsement of and consensus on eHealth issues through a Global eHealth Compact.
  • Collaboration and Networking: Creating an online resource to share eHealth content, methods, and technologies; supporting the development of collaborative action platforms; creating internet portals for information sharing on eHealth among stakeholders, including health care workers, researchers, educators, policymakers, providers, and donors.
  • Knowledge and Capacity Building: Identifying and supporting existing centers, and creating new centers of health informatics to improve knowledge management and the dissemination of health information; increasing collaboration among health informatics centers and eHealth training and research centers to create a global community of professional practitioners and scholars; developing and disseminating educational resources at all levels.
  • Metrics, Tools, and Templates: Creating and implementing strong assessment and evaluation tools for evaluating interoperability, health workforce informatics capacity, and the impact of eHealth programs and initiatives; developing a blueprint for activities and programs in countries with limited resources.

The signatories of the Bellagio eHealth Call to Action “urge governments, multilateral agencies, development partners, provider organizations, academic, research, and public health institutions, health care workers, entrepreneurs, technology experts from the public and private sectors, and members of civil society to join this Call to Action” in an effort to achieve “better health for all in the 21st century.”

AMEE 2006

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The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) annual meeting is recognized as the largest annual international event focusing entirely on medical and health care professions education.

The 2006 conference, held September 14-18, 2006 in Genoa, Italy, focused on teaching and learning in medicine, medical education, and health care needs and assessment. FAIMER was well represented at AMEE. Staff participated in the following workshops, symposia, and short communications:

Workshops

A practical guide to setting defensible performance standards on OSCEs and clinical skills examinations
André F. De Champlain (National Board of Medical Examiners), John R. Boulet, and Marta van Zanten

Assessing the written communication skills of physicians
Thomas Rebbecchi (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)), John R. Boulet, and Gerald Whelan (ECFMG)

Mini CEX: A method for assessment and feedback in training
John J. Norcini and Reinhard Westkämper (IAWF, University of Bern, Switzerland)

Work based assessment: Practical lessons from experience with a large national work based assessment programme
Helena Davies (University of Sheffield, UK), Lesley Southgate (University of London, UK), and John J. Norcini

Symposium

The assessment of work
John J. Norcini (Chairperson), Dale Dauphinée (Medical Council of Canada), Bob Galbraith (National Board of Medical Examiners), Val Wass (University of Manchester, UK), and Cees van der Vleuten (University of Maastricht, Netherlands)

Short Communications

Acculturation issues for immigrant physicians
Gerald Whelan*, Marta van Zanten, Eleanor Fitzpatrick, and Barbara Hoekje

Clinical education of graduates of European medical schools
Danette W. McKinley*, John J. Norcini, and M. Brownell Anderson

Development of a compulsory national clinical skills examination in Peru
William P. Burdick*, Pedro Mendoza, Peter Scoles, and John J. Norcini

Do international medical graduates contribute to a culturally and linguistically diverse physician workforce in the United States?
Marta van Zanten* and John R. Boulet

* Presenter