Scope and Purpose

The HPH conference 2014 is the first such event on the Iberian Peninsula. The HPH network in Catalonia that will host the conference was only founded in 2008 but has quickly developed into a HPH stronghold in South-Western Europe. It has recently focused on innovative and timely topics such as health literacy or workplace health promotion. Upon the proposal of the local hosts, the Scientific Committee decided to dedicate this conference to “Changing hospital & health service culture to better promote health”.By focusing on this general theme, the conference program acknowledges the need for organization-wide reform and development to support a more health promoting culture in health care, following the demand of WHO’s Ottawa Charter for a re-orientation of healthcare services, and concepts of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH). The conference will also address the feasibility of cultural change in healthcare in times of economic crisis. There will be three sub-themes:

Health literacy - an emerging concept for more patient-oriented healthcare

Health literacy is increasingly recognized as a social determinant of health and as such an important foundation of population health which can and should be enhanced by the healthcare sector. Traditional strategies to improve patient health literacy have focused on teaching and training interventions. But there is also an emerging trend to reduce the demands for health literacy that healthcare organizations present to their clients by organizational strategies such as the health-literate healthcare organizations (Brach et al. 2012). The conference will make the case for integrating these and related strategies under the umbrella of Health Promoting Hospitals. Hospitals as the core organizations of modern healthcare systems and as consumers of huge amounts of healthcare expenditure need to be strongly involved in improving health literacy both for the sake of improved short-term clinical outcomes and for better long-term population health.

Enhancing the health environment for health professionals - Developing a more salutogenic culture for and by healthcare staff

Healthcare staff are one of the most challenged groups of employees. Workplaces in healthcare represent numerous physical health risks such exposure to chemical, biological and nuclear agents, challenges to mental health including working with severely ill and dying patients, and social health risks such as work schemes and limited ability to plan work. Therefore they typically display high turnover rates and have high proportions of early retirement. Many countries face increasing shortages in qualified medical and nursing staff, a problem that is augmented by the ageing of populations and the fact that retired staff cannot be easily replaced any more. One of the strategies that are currently used to address the problem is the migration of healthcare staff which has specific advantages but also disadvantages. Strategies of workplace health promotion and salutogenic organizations are therefore timelier than ever in the healthcare sector. The conference will discuss concepts, strategies and preconditions for better salutogenic workplaces in hospitals and health service organizations, including managerial interventions and personnel development.

Better health care responses to community needs through a culture of cooperation between organizations and settings

Hospitals and health service organizations are embedded in local communities with specific population characteristics, health and social needs. While the legal regulations and available resources for health promotion towards the community vary strongly between countries and healthcare systems, there are good examples for successful collaboration between healthcare providers and organizations in local communities under supportive conditions. The conference will explore preconditions for, mutual interests of and strategies for collaboration with numerous settings including cities, schools, workplaces, and universities.



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