Improving healthcare systems, an Italian connection

Dr Sharon Williams, a senior lecturer with Swansea University's College of Human and Health Sciences, has recently returned from a visit to the Università Cattolica in Milan.

The Faculty of Business and Operations at the University invited Dr Williams to present the findings of her research, which is funded by the Health Foundation as part of her Improvement Science Fellowship. 

The research examines the design of patient pathways for long-term conditions.  In particular she shared some of the quality improvement initiatives that have been implemented here in the UK and how supply chain management techniques can be used to improve the integration of patient pathways. 

Sharon also led a workshop for senior executives from several hospitals within the region.  The workshop focused on exploring the conditions required for implementing Lean in healthcare.  Further collaborations were discussed in relation to exchange students, exchange visits for healthcare managers/professionals and research programmes. 

Sharon commented: “There are some exciting opportunities for collaboration, particularly in relation to research projects and exchange programmes across our two institutions. Quality improvement in healthcare is definitely on the agenda in Italy.  I think there is a lot of learning that can be shared across the two organisations particularly as the Swansea Centre of Improvement and Innovation at the College continues to develop its research and education programmes in this area.”