Scope and Purpose

It is for three reasons that the Scientific Committee has decided to focus the international HPH conference 2011 on "health gain orientation in all services": Firstly, because the reorientation of health services towards health promotion and health gain, as demanded by WHO’s Ottawa Charter in 1986, has yet to be brought about. Secondly, Finland, the host country of the HPH conference 2011, had a strong focus on "health in all policies" during its EU presidency in 2006 – with important developments the conference will be able to draw upon. And, last but not least, because better health gain is one of the main goals of the HPH network.

Looking back into the Ottawa Charter, the document called on health systems to "contribute to the pursuit of health", to move "beyond its responsibility for providing clinical and curative services" and to "open channels between the health sector and broader social, political, economic and physical environmental components." But how can this be achieved?

As some possible solutions to increasing health gain orientation in health services and systems, the conference will, in line with core HPH strategies and standards, propose to increase continuity and cooperation both within single health service organizations, between different service providers, and between healthcare organizations and other settings. These themes will be introduced in four thematic plenary sessions, and wrapped up in a closing session:

1. What can be understood by better health gain and salutogenesis?

A consequent reorientation of health services cannot be brought about without changing the outcome expectations towards health services and systems. The conference will therefore discuss questions like the following:

•••• Whose health gain – patients, staff, communities – can and should be improved in and by Health Promoting Health Services?
How do different stakeholders – health planners, hospitals, community providers, health professionals and patients – understand health gain and salutogenesis?
How can better health gain be measured – what examples of indicators are there, and how could they improve current clinical outcome measurement?

2. How can better health gain orientation within hospitals / health services be improved?

Health gain for patients in hospitals / health services depends on the quality of core and support services and on the support patients receive for their personal disease management and lifestyle development (information, training, and counseling). Against this background, the conference will present and discuss

•••• models / examples of improving patient assessment and information and the necessary cooperation between professional groups in hospitals / health services in the provision of core and support services;
•••• models / examples of cooperation with patients / patient organisations / relatives / relative organisations;
•••• preconditions for good internal cooperation within the hospital / health service (e.g. specific organizational structures; cooperation with quality management).

3. How can better health gain be improved by strengthening continuity of care in healthcare systems?

Health gain cannot be fully achieved in incomplete and fragmented healthcare systems. In this sense, continuity of care is an important contributor to health gain. But continuity obviously also poses numerous challenges to health services and systems. The conference will therefore put a focus on diagnosing problems, on identifying potential solutions, and on presenting examples of good practice:

•••• What are the reasons for the difficulties observed in continuous care?
•••• What are the roles of health systems (e.g. financing schemes, new public management), and which factors can health services influence themselves?
•••• What are potential solutions to the problems observed – on the part of health systems and on the part of health services?
•••• What models and examples of good practice (e.g. communities of practice, fair and equitable access to care) are there?

4. How can cooperation between health services and other settings contribute to better health gain? And what can be the contribution to ecological sustainability and environmental friendliness?

According to the Ottawa Charter, the reorientation of health services is also about links between health services and broader social, political, economic and physical environmental components. This includes collaboration with other settings, but also tackles issues like ecological sustainability and environmental friendliness. Questions in this area will include:

•••• In which areas can cooperation between health services and other settings (schools, the workplace, …) make a difference for health gain – and
•••• what is needed to enable such cooperation?How can health services contribute to sustainable development?

Additional themes

In addition to the main conference themes, workshops, symposia and paper sessions of the conference will also focus on current themes and activities of HPH task forces and working groups.

Program elements

Conference topics will be presented and discussed in keynote lectures and panels, paper sessions, workshops and symposia, mini-presentations and poster sessions. In addition, a summer school on HPH will be organized (see conference program for additional information).
Information on how to submit conference papers is available in the call for papers.

Target groups

The conference provides a forum for exchange and further development of knowledge and experiences for the following target groups:

•••• Health care professionals from the medical, nursing and therapeutic fields
•••• Hospital and health care managers
•••• Representatives from patient organisations and other NGOs
•••• Representatives from health policy and health administration
•••• Public health actors and experts
•••• Health and health promotion scientists and practitioners
•••• Health care consultants.

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