Posted on June 20, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) presented its evidence-based research to nearly 200 health policy experts at a global forum hosted by Health Affairs in Washington DC on 14thJune.

Health Affairs is one of the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals in the field of health policy research. Its mission is to serve as a high-level, non-partisan platform to encourage analysis and discussion to improve health and healthcare, and to address issues including cost, quality and access. The journal reaches a broad audience that includes government and health industry leaders, healthcare advocates and scholars of health in the United States and worldwide.

The forum, entitled ‘Global Health: Patient Safety, Cancer Care, Universal Health Coverage and Innovation’, explored major issues facing the global health community and coincided with the journal’s publication and distribution of a compendium of articles that originated from the WISH Summit in 2015. The papers,which have also been published in Health Affairs over the past year,addressed four major issues confronting the global health community: ‘How To Reduce The Burden Of Non-Communicable Diseases’, ‘How To Improve Access To Vaccines In Low And Middle-Income Countries’, ‘How To Achieve Universal Health Coverage’ and ‘How To Accelerate The Diffusion Of Healthcare Innovation’.

At the event, which was held at the National Press Club, Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief, Alan Weil told the audience: “We’re excited that the work we’re presenting here is supported through a multi-year relationship with Qatar Foundation and its World Innovation Summit for Health. We also have support from Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medical and Research Center and Imperial College London. This relationship has been very productive in terms of content and the ability to disseminate important information to a US and global audience.”

“We’re particularly pleased this year to have put together a compendium of papers which cover a broad range of issues. This is truly a major step forward in taking lessons learned and putting them together to improve our understanding, not only of health policy and practice in individual countries, but to improve the flow of information and learning around the world,” Mr Weil continued. Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, said: “The main aspiration of WISH is the dissemination of research output and the drive is to translate some of these ideas into practical applications on the front line. It’s always wonderful to come to Washington for this event and see WISH’s outputs reach a truly global audience through publication in one of the best and highest impact journals in policy.”

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Egbert Schillings, CEO of WISH, moderated a panel discussion on cancer care. He said: "Our mission is to influence health policy at the highest levels, using the best available evidence. When we are invited to do just that in Washington DC by the premier academic journal in this space, then we know we are truly living our purpose as a programme. The partners who joined us at the National Press Club represent some of the greatest leaders and thinkers in the world of health policy. All of them are as committed as we are to creating a healthier world through global collaboration, and we look forward to writing the next chapter in Doha this November."

WISH leadership and WISH research forum chairs also played key roles in the briefing, moderating discussions and speaking about their respective areas of healthcare expertise. They included Sir David Nicholson, Former Chief Executive of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, and Chair of WISH Universal Health Coverage Forum 2014; DrVictor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, and Chair of WISH Precision Medicine Forum 2016; Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Chair of WISH Patient Safety Forum 2015; and Mark McClellan, Director of the Robert J Margolis Center for Health Policy and the Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine and Health Policy at Duke University, and Chair of WISH Accountable Care Forum 2013 and 2016.

Following his presentation on patient safety, Dr Victor Dzau said: “This is a wonderful forum that brings knowledgeable individuals, scholars and leaders together to discuss some of the most important issues we face inhealthcare.” Mark McClellan, who spoke on the ‘Innovation in Healthcare’ panel, said: “This forum brings together a range of perspectives with really good ideas on how to improve care, reduce costs and achieve the goals that we all believe in when it comes to healthcare reform. Forums like this are making knowledge sharing increasingly easier, as we can exchange ideas much more rapidly and effectively.”

Health Affairs, together with WISH,an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF),have built a strong partnership in delivering pertinent policy content to a vast international audience of healthcare leaders. In September 2014, Health Affairs featured ten articles written by WISH authors and contributors.