Alberta's Symposium on Health 2005

Unleashing Innovation in Health Systems

Unleashing Innovation in Health Systems – Alberta's Symposium on Health was an opportunity for Alberta to explore successful strategies from around the world and identify the innovations that bring about improved health outcomes and drive excellent health system performance. The symposium was a three-day forum hosted by then Minister of Health and Wellness, Iris Evans. It was held May 3–5, 2005 in Calgary.

At the symposium, 28 speakers from nine countries spoke on a range of topics, including improving health status, health human resources, quality and safety, financing and decision making and cost-escalation and e-health. Symposium delegates heard a number of key points:

  • There is no single solution to health care, but rather improvements must evolve over time;
  • Improvements must focus on the patient and evidence-based outcomes;
  • Solutions must meet your own society's expectations and values;
  • An attitude of openness is necessary for new possibilities and the best health care options;
  • Change in health care systems should be evolutionary and entrepreneurial;
  • Collaboration among professionals is vital;
  • Quality care is achieved when health teams learn together and act accordingly; and
  • Change must be focused on what will work and what will make a positive difference to the health of the population.

Coming out of the symposium, Minister Iris Evans made a commitment to consider the ideas within the Alberta context. "We will take these ideas, weave them together with the excellent work already going on in Alberta’s health regions and take action in promoting wellness for children and youth, advancing primary health care, realizing improvements in mental health service delivery and making electronic health records a robust reality by 2008."