EQuiP 2020: Organisation, Education and Innovation within GP Urgent Care

The title of EQuiP 2020 is 'Call me a doctor!' The conference focuses on urgent care. Dorien Zwart, president of the scientific committee of EQuiP 2020, explains why and what visitors can expect.

Dorien Zwart had little trouble coming up with a theme for EQuiP 2020: GP Urgent Care in Europe through a quality and safety lens. 'In the Netherlands, but also in the rest of Europe, this is the subject of much debate. What role can and should the general practitioner play in urgent care?' 
Dr Zwart is president of the scientific committee of EQuiP 2020, associate professor at the department of General Practice in the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at University Medical Center Utrecht and also works as a general practitioner herself.
She conducts research into the quality of care based on six dimensions: effective, efficient, timely, patient-centred, safe and equitable. 'I use these dimensions in both my research and my own practice. They are interconnected vessels that are sometimes at odds with each other. If you are very busy, timeliness is a problem and you sometimes make choices that can affect safety, for example.' Urgent care usually means time is of the essence. 'Speed can be required because of the nature of the complaint, because people are anxious or because there is a shortage of professionals,' says Dr Zwart. 'This puts more pressure on the health care system and therefore on the quality of care. This is the challenge we face in providing good urgent care.'
The conference examines urgent care from three perspectives: organisation, training and innovation.
  • How can we improve the organisation of urgent care and collaborate with the other health care lines in smarter ways?
  • How can we train people properly, and which skills do young doctors need to master in order to feel adequately equipped to provide urgent care?
  • And which innovations exist in the areas of decision support and e-health? Which new knowledge has been gained with regard to triage?
In the keynotes, workshops and skills training sessions, the conference participants will receive answers to these questions. 'The common thread is how we can safeguard and improve the quality of urgent care in Europe. We will discuss the latest scientific research and also let patients talk about their experiences of urgent care. We will show examples of advanced skills training from the participating countries. As a GP, for example, you can also practise with a simulation of a patient who suddenly becomes unstable. Moreover, we will organise site visits to out-of-hours surgeries and GP practices to show how we deliver urgent care here in the Netherlands.'
EurOOHnet, the European research network for out-of-hours primary health care, is organising its annual meeting in Utrecht on 7 May 2020, one day before EQuiP. Dr Zwart is very happy about that. 'This will allow many scientists from this network to attend our own conference as well, combining science and practice even more effectively.' 'I hope that GPs will go home inspired with concrete ideas about how to tackle urgent care in their own practice in the future,' concludes Dr Zwart. 'And also that they will use their new insights to continue the discussion on safeguarding and, where necessary, improving the quality of urgent care in their own region.'