Advancing Healthcare Through Collaboration

CAHOCON 2024, the three-day annual conference of the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations (CAHO), recently held at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in Kolkata, was a significant event in the healthcare sector. The conference was backed by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and supported by several prestigious organisations, including Joint Commission International (JCI), the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), and the Asian Society for Quality in Health Care (ASQua). The focus of the conference was to make healthcare more efficient, effective, economical, and equitable.

The Conference At a Glance
• Fifteen Pre-Conference Workshops (CAHOCON): Held on April 5 across various major hospitals in Kolkata, these workshops drew 1,034 attendees, setting the stage for the main conference event.
• Main Conference (CAHOCON): On April 6 and 7, over 1,500 attendees participated in key discussions and panels that advanced the conference’s goals of improving healthcare efficiency, effectiveness, economy, and equity.
• Pre-Conference Workshops for CAHOLABCON: Held on April 4, these workshops were designed for laboratory professionals, drawing more than 300 attendees across nine workshops.
• Main Conference (CAHOLABCON): On April 5, over 400 attendees gathered to discuss advancements and challenges in laboratory services.
Distinguished Guests
• Inaugural Chief Guest: Dr. C. V. Ananda Bose, the Honourable Governor of West Bengal, inaugurated the event, underscoring the importance of healthcare innovations in regional governance.
• Valedictory Chief Guest: Sri Narayan Swaroop Nigam, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Principal Secretary of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, West Bengal, addressed the concluding session, emphasising the state’s ongoing commitment to improving healthcare services.
• LABCON Chief Guest: Mr. N. Venkateswaran, Chief Executive Officer of the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), provided insights into the critical role of laboratory services in healthcare.

Conference Highlights
CAHOCON 2024 concluded successfully after two days of intensive discussions, expert panels, and collaborative learning sessions. The conference gathered numerous healthcare professionals, including administrators, clinicians, quality control experts, and policymakers, to explore ways to enhance healthcare delivery across various dimensions. The focus remained on making healthcare efficient, effective, economical, and equitable, with numerous insightful presentations and debates contributing to the overarching goal of improving healthcare standards nationwide.
Opening Day: The conference commenced with the CAHO anthem and remarks from distinguished guests. Sessions on “Accreditation Standards” and the introduction of JCI’s 8th Edition Standards emphasised continuous improvement in healthcare accreditation.

Session Highlights:
• The Apollo Journey: A detailed account of making Indian healthcare effective and efficient.
• Clinical Grand Rounds: Focused on applying the ‘Four Es’ (efficient, effective, economical, and equitable) to specialised areas such as cancer care and liver transplants, demonstrating the integration of these principles into clinical excellence.
•Grand Debate on Hospital Grading: Sparked a constructive debate on the implications of grading hospitals, weighing the benefits and challenges, and fostering diverse perspectives.
Innovations and Technologies: A significant portion of the conference highlighted the role of technology in healthcare, including advancements in diagnostics and patient safety powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Patient Engagement: Sessions dedicated to listening to patients’ voices and understanding their crucial role in healthcare enhancement were particularly impactful, promoting a patient-centric approach in healthcare practices.

Panel Discussions
Several panel discussions covered themes ranging from challenges in achieving the 4Es, leaders in accreditation, and empowering patients. These panels brought together experts to share best practices and innovative ideas, ensuring a comprehensive approach to tackling current healthcare challenges.

Special Sessions
• Awards and Recognitions: Recognised excellence in various healthcare domains, including fire and life safety, and environmental sustainability.
• Certification Ceremonies: Hosted ceremonies for various healthcare professionals, contributing to ongoing professional development and recognition.

CAHOCON 2024 successfully brought together a wide range of healthcare professionals and stakeholders to discuss and devise solutions for a more equitable healthcare system. The involvement of high-profile government officials underscored the significant attention and resources being dedicated to healthcare improvements in West Bengal. The event provided a comprehensive platform for sharing knowledge, networking, and collaborative opportunities in the healthcare field.
The conference underlined the critical need for continued collaboration and innovation in healthcare. Discussions pointed towards the necessity of integrating technological advancements with human-centric care models. Future conferences will aim to build on the insights gained during this event to further drive national and international healthcare standards.

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