International Conference To Focus On Improving Healthcare Quality, Combating Infectious Disease

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. - Global healthcare issues such as the AIDS epidemic, quality standards, infection control and the relationship between a healthy population and self-sustaining economic wealth will be the focus of discussion at the Sept. 9-11, 2002 APEC Conference on Quality Improvement through Accreditation.

The conference is being hosted by the National Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (NCAPEC) and Joint Commission International (JCI). The event will bring together representatives from leading organizations such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, Thailand Ministry of Public Health, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, International Associations of Physicians in AIDS Care, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Japan Council for Quality Healthcare, USAID Global Bureau, National Committee for Quality Assurance and the National Quality Forum.

The event is a part of a new strategy to expand cooperation on combating emerging infectious disease and promoting sound public health policies for economic development. The World Health Organization has recently endorsed accreditation as an effective tool to promote quality assurance and is participating in the conference.

The conference, to be held at JCAHO headquarters and funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, will assist developing economies in APEC to build the capacity for establishing or improving accreditation regimes. A secondary purpose is to facilitate greater cooperation and collaboration between accreditation organizations on a regional basis. The conference gathers Ministries of Health, public health professionals, hospital administrators and other healthcare professionals to discuss issues concerning implementation of effective quality improvement and evaluation strategies leading to an accreditation regime.

The conference will cover best practices in standards development, training of practitioners and evaluation techniques. Experts will discuss the micro-economic costs and benefits to hospitals that undergo accreditation. Infection control and standards for the treatment of HIV/AIDS will be key focal areas. Representatives of Thailand's Institute of Hospital Quality Improvement and Accreditation and Joint Commission Resources will be presenting on a joint APEC project "Delivery of Healthcare Services to Persons with HIV/AIDS: an International Standards Development Project."

"Improving the quality of health care for people the world over is one of the most critical tasks we face. This conference is important to meeting that goal because it facilitates the interaction of leaders from around the world and across numerous industries," says Karen H. Timmons, chief executive officer, JCI.

For more information about the conference, whose corporate sponsors include Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Project Hope and BD, call JCI at (630) 268-7400.

Source: JCAHO

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