Interview with EQuiP President: Zalika Klemenc-Ketiš

EQuiP: Increasing brainpower, disseminating knowledge

EQuiP is a WONCA Europe network promoting quality and safety in family medicine with a focus on education and research on quality and safety in general practices. President Zalika Klemenc-Ketiš reflects on the evolution of the organization and looks ahead to next year’s EQuiP conference. ‘It’s a great opportunity to get new ideas for EQuiP itself.’
For a year now, Zalika Klemenc-Ketiš has been president of EQuiP, which she says is a great responsibility and opportunity. But it is a demanding one: Dr Klemenc is also an associated professor at the Faculty of Medicine University of Maribor as well as a family doctor and researcher in the Community Health Centre Ljubljana in the Slovenian capital.  
"I wanted to become president because there’s still much work to be done on the topic of quality and safety, especially regarding research and education," she says. "As president, I have the chance to put my ideas into action. For example, we recently managed to finish the agenda for teaching quality and safety, working closely with Euract, another WONCA network. I’m quite proud of this important document because we didn’t have anything like it before." 
EQuiP wants to improve the quality and safety of patient care in general practices throughout Europe. It was founded in 1991, and Klemenc says it has gone through several phases. In its first years, EQuiP focused on research and developing instruments for measuring quality and safety, including Europep, the questionnaire for measuring patient satisfaction. That’s just one of EQuiP’s brainchildren, as is the Maturity Matrix, a matrix for assessing one’s practice. 
The second phase was the reflection phase. "Then we established working groups on different topics and the EQuiP Summer School," Klemenc explains. "And now we are in the third phase, the networking phase. We used to be a closed group, but now any individual or organization can become an EQuiP member. We also try to cooperate with other organizations. We hope to increase the brainpower of our organization and disseminate more knowledge on safety and quality in general practices." 
Klemenc also wants to re-establish research as an EQuiP focal point. "Research has always been part of our mission, but in the past few years, it received a little less attention. With EGPRN, another WONCA organization, we have now established a research working group on person-centred care." 
Klemenc is looking forward to the EQuiP 2020 conference. "It’s again a great opportunity to meet new people who are active in the same field. And I always like to see great examples of quality and safety and bring back new knowledge to Slovenia. Furthermore, in my role as president, the conference is a great opportunity to get new ideas for EQuiP, for topics that we can make a priority or for statements and opinions we should carry out." 
What does she think about the conference’s theme, urgent care? "Up until now, EQuiP mainly focused on regular working practice. There’s a lack of knowledge and data on urgent care, so I’m thrilled the organizers chose this topic."