From Salzburg to beyond

Sciana members consider their next steps after the network's inaugural meeting

After two days of input, sharing experiences and listening to expert opinions, the third day of the inaugural meeting of Sciana saw the members focus on what comes next: what will they individually and collaboratively do once they leave Salzburg and return to their respective countries?

Encouraged to organise themselves into groups aligned with their own professional interests and needs, the members devised three projects at varying stages of development.

One group centred on the idea of a “hackathon”. In this instance, hacking does not imply releasing data via some unauthorised computer access, but rather bringing people together for an intensive brainstorming and prototyping session to find innovative solutions to health care challenges. With a venue and time-frame in mind, the group are now exploring multiple issues – from big data and smart devices to health care professionals’ training and patients’ access to their records – before selecting the most urgent and potentially fruitful topic and inviting Sciana members, other health care and adjacent sector professionals, and patients to collectively “hack” the issue.

Another group chose to explore new integrated, patient-centred care models and the root causes of inequality and adverse effects on health and wellbeing. They leave Salzburg still in the “discover stage”, with the intention to do more research into existing models and examples of promoting wellbeing ahead of the next Sciana meeting.

A third, and final group considered models of learning and information sharing from their home contexts to show how these would be applicable for peers in other settings. They plan to apply experience gained of the “Kafka Brigade” method of uncovering bureaucratic and systemic errors and improving the handling of domestic violence cases in Wales to improve patients’ journeys through cancer treatment in Switzerland, and to use a breast cancer peer-support system developed in the US and currently being applied in Geneva, Switzerland to help cancer patients in the Cynon Valley in Wales. Overlapping these practices with the community-led “Buurtzorg” model for at-home care for Welsh and Swiss dementia patients, this third group ultimately aim to share their knowledge and experience across borders to advance patients’ self-management.

Some members felt daunted by the task of advancing their projects ahead of the next Sciana meeting in Salzburg in November, but as one senior ambassador remarked: “It is better to do something quick and dirty, than to do nothing at all.”

Read more in the daily Sciana newsletter (PDF)