Leading lights on campus to discuss future healthcare advances

The ORAHS 2017 Conference has been organised through our Centre for Healthcare Innovation & Improvement

The ORAHS 2017 Conference has been organised through our Centre for Healthcare Innovation & Improvement

Over 150 delegates from nearly 30 countries convene on campus this week for the 43rd annual meeting of the EURO Working Group on Operational Research Applied to Health Services.

Organised through the University’s Centre for Healthcare Innovation & Improvement (Chi2), this week’s ORAHS 2017 event marks the first time the significant conference for healthcare researchers and practitioners has been hosted at the University.

Topics to be discussed include issues pertinent to the healthcare systems around the world, not least the NHS. Sessions over four days will cover an array of themes, from diagnostic screening and management, resource allocation, costing, measurement and evaluation, through to patient appointment scheduling.

These themes map to many of the outputs of Chi2 which is concerned with finding practical solutions to health and social care challenges using applied health research. Keynote speakers at ORAHS include leading lights in the field, including Professor Sally Brailsford from the University of Southampton, Professor Margaret Brandeau of Stanford University, and Professor Erwin Hans from the University of Twente.

Alongside academic voices, delegates will hear from practitioners, including Paul Mears, Chief Executive Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; an organisation with which Chi2 works closely.

As part of ORAHS 2017 there is also special one-day mini conference open to researchers around the University, where national and international experts will review examples of local initiatives and cutting edge applications and analytics.

Conference organiser and Director of Chi2 within the University’s School of Management, Professor Christos Vasilakis said: “Operational research and advanced analytics, also known as 'the science of better', have been used extensively in industry to improve operations, products and services. We know there is a great untapped potential for the same methods to help health and care organisations, as well as national health systems to improve outcomes and experiences for patients.

“In this conference we have gathered a large number of UK-based, European and overseas experts to showcase examples of successful local and national initiatives, and to discuss how best to increase the role of operational research on the health and well-being agenda”.

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