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Talking Healthcare

Talking Healthcare

By International Hospital Federation
The International Hospital Federation (IHF) is an international not for profit, non-governmental membership organization. Our members are worldwide hospitals and healthcare organizations having a distinct relationship with the provision of healthcare. In this podcast, we will feature hospital leaders, healthcare professionals who will share their knowledge on various topics revolving around the health sector.
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45th World Hospital Congress Scientific Committee
The 45th IHF World Hospital Congress is a unique global forum that brings together IHF Members and leaders of hospitals, health services, and healthcare organizations. Providing an invaluable networking opportunity for leaders in healthcare, the themes chosen for each congress focus on the biggest trends and common issues in the sector. Expert-led sessions are complemented by workshops, breakouts, scientific posters, and exhibitors from across the industry. It’s a hive of knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation – a chance to gather our international community to focus on what healthcare leaders can learn from each other to improve service delivery at home. For this episode, Dr Farida, chair of the Scientific Committee, invited members of the Scientific Committee to share their experience working together on the formulation of the Congress program. Dr Abdullatif and Ryan also shared their expectations for the upcoming congress. Dr. Farida AlKhaja Chief Executive Officer, Clinical Support Services & Nursing Sector, Dubai Health Authority, United Arab Emirates Farida Alkhaja is working in Dubai Health Authority for the past 25 years. She is leading six core services in DHA, Pharmacy services, Pathology & Genetics services, Clinical Nutrition services, Diagnostic Imaging services, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation services and Nursing services. AlKhaja has received her Bachelor degree of Pharmacy Sciences from Cairo University in Egypt in the year 1996. Dr. Abdullatif Saad Alokifi Assistant of Director General for GD of Hospital Affairs, Ministry of Health, Saudi ArabiaDr. Abdullatif Alokifi is the Assistant of Director General for General Administration of Hospital Affairs, the General Supervisor of Wazen Program and the Chairman of Hospital Commissioning Unit at Saudi Ministry of Health, KSA. Coordinator for IHF. He used to be the Director of Strategic Planning and Operation in General Administration of Quality and Patient Safety at Saudi Ministry of Health, KSA. Ryan Keiler Associate Director, Standards Development and Interpretation, Joint Commission InternationalRyan Keiler serves as an Associate Director of Standards Development and Interpretation for The Joint Commission International. In this role, Mr. Keiler serves on work groups, task forces, and committees to support the development and re-development of international accreditation standards and interpretations.
June 23, 2022
Solidarity against violence in healthcare
Violence against healthcare has been a recurrent problem over the years across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has appeared to worsen the situation, with a documented increase of incidents in many countries Since 2015 the International Hospital Federation is strongly involved in the Healthcare in Danger initiative of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent advocating for the safety of health personnel and protection of healthcare around the globe. Robyn, Ana and Paul sat down to disucss how we can resolve violence in healthcare. About the Speakers: Ana Elisa Barbar Adviser on issues of violence against healthcare at International Committee of the Red Cross Dr. Robyn Begley Chief Executive Officer at American Organization for Nursing Leadership Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer at American Hospital Association Paul Sarnese Assistant Vice President for Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness at Virtua Health Inc, United States
March 22, 2022
The Power of Telehealth: How can it improve access to care?
One of the biggest ‘service shifts’ in the healthcare sector since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the widespread adoption of telehealth. As well as being a viable option to provide continuity of care and treatment to patients during the coronavirus pandemic, telehealth has transformed how health systems can respond to chronic workforce shortages and optimise their clinical capacities. So for our first Talking Healthcare podcast in 2022, we have invited Sharon Allen and Dr. Amit Tahkker to discuss the challenges and opportunities of telehealth for Africa’s diverse healthcare systems. About the Speakers: Sharon Allen, Co-founder and Executive Director of World Telehealth Initiative (WTI) As Executive Director of the World Telehealth Initiative (WTI), Sharon has engaged with the American Telehealth Association, the White House Telehealth Innovation Summit, Nigeria’s Healthcare Today – Keynote, MENA Telehealth Conference, Telehealth Innovator’s Forum, AAFP Global Health Summit, and more. Under Sharon’s leadership, WTI has developed an innovative model that leverages remote philanthropic physicians to provide sustainable medical expertise via telehealth. Moreover, Sharon has been selected to serve on the World Health Organization Digital Health Board of Advisors and Roster of Experts. She is currently working with WHO on their Telehealth Roadmap for the Underserved. Dr. Amit N. Thakker, President of the Africa Healthcare Federation Amit is the President of Africa Healthcare Federation, the immediate past-Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation and has served as a Director at LumiraDx, Seven Seas Technology, AMREF Flying Doctors, Action Aid and Ghanima Limited. Dr. Thakker actively supports governments, corporates, health organisations and development partners to foster effective public-private partnership initiatives towards improved health outcomes. As an active member of several institutions including international business group YPO Gold (Nairobi Chapter), Dr. Thakker also chairs the University of Nairobi Alumni Medical Chapter and serves as an advisor to Asia Africa Investing & Consulting Ltd, Coalition for Blood in Africa (CoBA) and Ministry of Health, Kenya.
February 18, 2022
System Digitalisation in the United Arab Emirates
COVID-19 created tremendous pressure on health systems across the world, leading policy-makers to offer hospitals new flexibilities for digital health to fill gaps in capacity. This episode features the CEO of Digital Healthcare at Aster DM Healthcare, a global health system spanning India and the Middle East region. Listeners will learn about Aster's efforts to internalize digital processes (e.g. administration, operation) and external services (e.g. virtual ICUs, virtual prescription refills) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode will also offer insights about the role of public-private partnerships in digital health, the cost and infrastructure requirements for implementation, and trends in innovation in both the Asia and Gulf regions. Guest: Brandon Rowberry Host: Dr. Sudha Pathak Producer: Taylor Johansen
November 23, 2021
Telehealth in Canada
On March 11th, 2020 a global pandemic was declared. Almost overnight, people went from buzzing around cities to staying in their own homes, under lockdown. Many worldwide healthcare systems mandated the cancellation of non-essential or elective services and most healthcare organizations pivoted to virtual care options, where possible. Maple is a Canadian telehealth company that predates the pandemic but experienced monumental growth as a result of it. This episode details Maple’s services, the telehealth landscape in Canada, and discusses how recent circumstances have nudged the Canadian government to evolve its universal coverage policy to enable better access to virtual healthcare. Guest: Lana Majid Host and Producer: Taylor Johansen More information:
November 23, 2021
Hospital Operations Digital Pivot in the USA
COVID-19 disrupted operations at hospitals across the world, requiring managers to rapidly implement new digital tools and transformations to support changes in system operations and service delivery. This episode offers insights about how the Cleveland Clinic—a global health system with facilities in the US, UK, UAE, and Canada—implemented “years worth of automation and digitization in just 2 weeks”. Listeners will hear from the Cleveland Clinic’s enterprise Chief Information Officer, who will describe the system’s experience transitioning to virtual care, offer best practices for designing and implementing system-level changes in IT, and identify key post-pandemic trends in digital health and health care innovation. Guest: Matt Kull Host: Kushal Kadakia Producer: Taylor Johansen More information:
November 23, 2021
Post-COVID Clinic & Wearable Technologies in Portugal
Most countries put forth significant efforts to identify positive COVID-19 cases, recommend quarantine practices, and aim to flatten infection curves in an effort to keep hospital intensive care units afloat.  But what happens to the people who contracted COVID-19 but then recovered from the illness? This episode describes Post-Covid Care Clinics in Portugal. Digital technologies such as wearable devices for telemonitoring and telehealth solutions allowed clinicians in Portugal to undertake integrated follow-up of COVID-19 survivors - an innovation that is certain to shed light on what kind of medical care may be necessary in the coming years.   Guest: Miguel Rico      Host: Leandro Luis      Producer: Taylor Johansen
November 23, 2021
“StayHomeSafe”, “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile apps, and Geofencing technology in Hong Kong
During the combat of COVID-19, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has leveraged innovation and technology to respond quickly to the fast-changing pandemic situation. Making use of the geo-fencing technology, the locally developed “StayHomeSafe” home quarantine system was launched in March 2020 and monitored over 600,000 people arriving in Hong Kong during their mandatory quarantine period. The Government also launched the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app in November 2020 to facilitate contact tracing for community transmission. The principle of “Privacy by Design” was adopted and there were over 6 million downloads. This episode highlights the development of each of these mobile applications and discusses how the Government of Hong Kong overcame challenges such as high density population and privacy assurance. Guest: Kingsley Wong Host: Dr. Christy Lam Producer: Taylor Johansen More information:;
November 23, 2021
Quarantine Management in Finland
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health authorities and hospitals around the world; from swab testing to contact tracing, from quarantine management to shifts in hospital operational management. Many traditional processes and tools have been inadequate in tackling these challenges, which has led to the rapid development of new technological solutions and related procedures. In this episode you will hear about how a combination of three key technological solutions has helped Tampere University Hospital in Finland in the fight against COVID-19. Guest: Dr. Ville Kaila Host: Taylor Johansen Producers: Taylor Johansen, Emil Ackerman
November 23, 2021
Vaccine Administration Coordination in Developing Countries
Working towards eradication of COVID-19 is a global effort and while many countries have made great gains in vaccination coverage, it is important to recognize that access to medicine and medical record keeping is often more challenging in developing nations. This episode highlights eVAS, an end-to-end digital vaccination administration system that has been developed specifically for use in developing countries. Guest: Dr. Sampada Deshpande Host and Producer: Taylor Johansen More information about eVAS:;
November 23, 2021
Mathematical Modelling in Austria
Epidemiologists around the world have raced to try to understand the behaviour of the novel coronavirus. Thinking ahead to how this virus may impact the world in years to come, humankind must begin to appreciate the consequences of our own decisions in the fight against COVID-19. This episode shines a light on the intersection between academic research and policy-making. We speak to Dr. Fyodor Kondrashov, Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Vienna, and learn about the development of a mathematical model which simulates SARSCoV2 behaviour and seeks to understand the emergence of vaccine-resistant strains. This technology can help us think critically about the interplay between vaccination campaigns, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and viral mutation. Guest: Dr.Fyodor Kondrashov Host: Emil Ackerman Producer: Taylor Johansen More information:
November 23, 2021
Contact Tracing in Ireland
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, health and technology industry employees all over the world worked hard to rapidly stand up pandemic management systems. In a period of just 10 days, Nearform developed the Covid Tracker mobile app to lead contact tracing efforts in Ireland. In this episode, not only do we learn about app development and use in Ireland, but we are also introduced to the Linux Foundation for Public Health - an organisation that endeavours to connect public health authorities anywhere in the world with open source software solutions in an effort to improve global health outcomes. Guest: Larry Breen Host: Emil Ackerman Producer: Taylor Johansen More information:;;
November 23, 2021
Vaccine Optimization in Canada
Through 2020, everyone all over the world awaited the development of a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. When vaccines were approved for distribution, a clear public health message was heard globally: get whatever vaccine you can, as soon as you can. Distribution strategies varied from country to country and in Canada, individuals could book a vaccination appointment through multiple avenues - directly through a hospital, at a pharmacy, through Provincial government portals, via local public health authorities, etc. In an effort to help connect people with available doses, Canada’s Vaccine Hunters emerged. This episode tells the story of how hundreds of volunteers outside of the healthcare system came together to support fellow human beings through the use of digital technologies. Open source code for appointment optimization is now available to anyone who needs it. Guests: Andrew Young and Eric Herscovich Host and Producer: Taylor Johansen More information about Vaccine Hunters Canada can be found here:;
November 23, 2021
Taking action on climate change: How we can build sustainable healthcare environments
For the 5th and final episode of the 44th IHF World Hospital Congress podcast series, Walt Vernon and Dr. Elizabeth Baca sat down to share how we can achieve and build sustainable healthcare environments. They also shared knowledge on the impacts of Climate Change and discussed the best-in-class solution towards reducing carbon emissions in the healthcare sector. About the Speakers: Walt Vernon Walt is an IHF Premier Associate Member, who has over 30 years of experience in the research, planning, and design of healthcare facilities. Walt Vernon, is CEO of Mazzetti, a global planning, design and engineering firm and Founder of the non-profit organisation, the Sextant Foundation. Alongside these roles, Walt’s industry contributions include serving on the board of both Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm. He was also was principal author for the World Health Organization’s Health in the Green Economy, as well as AHA’s Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals – A Guide to Achieving Your Sustainability Goals. Dr. Elizabeth Baca Dr. Elizabeth is a clinician-strategist leader at Deloitte providing systems thinking and insights to health care and life science clients to support care delivery innovation to foster total health and well-being recognizing health equity and sustainability are central to this work. She served in both administrations of Governor Brown and Governor Newsom, first as Senior Health Advisor and then Deputy Director. She has worked on a variety of projects to foster health through land use planning, systems change, food systems, precision health, precision medicine and big data. Much of her work is about connecting the dots; she loves working across sectors to foster participant-centered design and collaboration.
October 14, 2021
Humanizing technology for smart healthcare delivery
For the 4th episode of this podcast series, we have invited Richard Stubbs and Dr. Anne Snowdon to sit down and discuss how healthcare systems and services have fundamentally changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and how digitally enabled healthcare is now a mainstay of many hospital services around the world. About the Speakers: Dr. Anne Snowdon is the Chief Scientific Research Officer for HIMSS. Alongside her role at HIMSS, Anne is also a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor; Vice Chair of the Board of the Directors for Alberta Innovates; she is also a member of the Health Futures Council of Arizona State University (ASU). Richard Stubbs is the CEO  of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and Vice-Chair of the national AHSN Network. Richard has worked within the health service for over 20 years and is the international lead for the AHSN Network, working closely with the Department of International Trade and Healthcare UK supporting the export of UK health excellence. He is a member of the Healthcare UK Advisory Board and part of the Global Scientific Committee curating the International Hospital Federation’s World Hospital Congress.
September 13, 2021
Vaccine management during a global pandemic
For the 3rd episode of the WHC Podcast series, Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, shares light on vaccine management during a global pandemic. He further emphasized how the collaboration between government and pharmaceutical companies is different for the COVID-19 vaccines. Thomas Cueni is the Director-General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations - the global association of pharmaceutical research companies and Secretary of the global Biopharmaceutical CEO Roundtable. He was instrumental in creating the AMR Action Fund, a ground-breaking partnership that has raised nearly $1 billion to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030. He also Chairs the Business at OECD Health Committee and the Board of the cross-sectoral AMR Industry Alliance. He represents the innovative biopharmaceutical industry on the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator - a unique global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
September 07, 2021
Effective leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic
For the 2nd episode of this series, our guest Bertrand Levrat, Chief Executive Officer at Geneva University Hospital (HUG), shares his experiences in leading his organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also talks about the qualities a leader should have in order to effectively manage a public health crisis. About the Speaker: Bertrand Levrat Chief Executive Officer at Geneva University Hospital (HUG), Switzerland Governing Council Member, International Hospital Federation
August 20, 2021
Impact of Global Nursing Initiatives
Nurses are recognized internationally for their everyday contributions and in fighting COVID-19. Listen to Lord Nigel Crisp and Robyn Begley as they discuss the impact of global nursing leadership initiatives-- such as the Nursing Now Campaign and the Nightingale Challenge.
July 23, 2021