Just Launched: HBA Affinity Group on Patient Centricity

"All social change begins with a conversation." - Margaret J. Wheatley


The picture is visually mapping the discussion, the topics and energy of the group.

The role of a ‘patient’ is one that has been adopted by many, if not all, of us. We have all been a customer of the healthcare service at some stage of our lives for either ourselves and/or our close ones. Although we have come a long way in promoting patient engagement, there are still many areas of healthcare where patient voice is lost. The HBA, a global nonprofit association focused on healthcare businesses now offers the topic of patient centricity through its affinity group channels.

Xenia Von Maltzan has founded the HBA affinity group for patient centricity because it is time to turn theory into practice and generate a safe space where change-makers in this area can come together. The affinity group is in its early stages and Xenia is assisted by three core volunteers driving this initiative: Veronica Calzada, Christine Bauquis and Sreeja Varghese. It is predominantly Europe based but also a global group which is actively focussing on what can be done today to empower patient-centric ideas. In this group, change-makers of the healthcare system meet on a regular basis and additional events are offered in collaboration with the HBA chapters across Europe. We are happy to exchange ideas with any chapter; just send us an email.

The affinity group's kick-off meeting took place on 15 September 2020. The event was attended by more than 20 participants. Given the theme of the affinity group, the team selected a format that created as much interactivity as possible among participants. There were polls to gauge the participant pool and breakout sessions to facilitate active discussions between attendees. This was to ensure that the meeting outcome would represent the participant's opinion and that the group goals would be volunteer driven.

A first poll aimed at defining the background of the attendees and showed that attendees came from different sectors striking an excellent balance of representatives from the industry and people with patient (advocacy) experience. The key fact, as reflected in the poll results, was that irrespective of the sector we work in, we were all united by our “patient experience”. 

This led us smoothly into our first breakout session which allowed the attendees to get acquainted and explain their interest in the subject matter. This was then followed by an inspirational keynote speech from David Haerry, who covered the history of patient advocacy and dating the patient advocate movement back to the beginning of the HIV movement in the U.S. in the 1980s. He concisely covered many topics to illustrate the landscape of patient centricity in our current setting. His speech highlighted the landmark achievements made by active volunteers in the past and the tools and constraints of furthering this cause today.

Even though patient engagement is already well known across the healthcare sector, the translation of the patient voice into action is still ahead of us and “patients need to continue barking”, as David phrased it. 

Following the keynote speech by David Haerry, there was avid discussion about the topics raised by David during Q&A session. Discussions further developed during the next breakout session, where participants got the opportunity to exchange impressions, views and thoughts after the keynote. Complete this survey to look at the main discussion points and share your thoughts on what content you would like to see at future events. 

The patient centricity affinity group is off to a great start. The polls at the end of the meeting showed that more than 90 percent of the attendees plan to stay connected and join the next meeting. 

 Join our HBA Affinity Group for Patient Centricity Community page to stay updated and connected.

 Register for our next networking discussion event:Brainstorming the Most Important Patient Centric Topics of the Future on 28 October 2020. Feel free to invite a friend along who wants to meet other change-makers.

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