10 years of ANQ Anniversary

In September 2019, ANQ celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Bern, together with around 80 guests from ANQ committees, and others representing the healthcare, political and administration sectors.

In their anniversary addresses, the guest speakers agreed that ANQ’s first decade has been marked by significant successes. Behind it all is long-term development work. This includes the first Swiss National Quality Agreement, which has been signed by all providers and funding agencies active in the inpatient sector.

It’s clear today that the struggle for consensus and the practice-orientated approach has paid off. Swiss hospitals and clinics currently review a total of 15 quality indicators on behalf of ANQ. ANQ members, partners, patients, the media and other interested parties can access these results at any time, and for each individual hospital or clinic.

ANQ’s Managing Director Dr. Petra Busch compared ANQ’s early years with the construction of a complex apartment building. She described the beginning in the following terms. The social partners first laid the foundations. With the establishment of the ANQ association, a construction management team, as it were, was put in place that took a positive approach to conflict resolution.

At the same time, they brought on board motivated and efficient experts who patiently took care of putting the required structure in place.

A model for the future? Absolutely! In the view of Dr. Petra Busch, the resultant “apartment building” represents a pioneering achievement, not only on a national level but on an international level too.

“ANQ is undoubtedly qualified to continue to play a significant role in the future. The structure that is ANQ is supported by tried and tested foundations and pillars.”

Dr. Petra Busch, Managing Director ANQ

ANQ President Thomas Straubhaar once again expressed how important has been the amalgamation of the most important actors within the Swiss healthcare system.

“Despite all the different orientations, the association has succeeded in guiding everyone on a single path so that it has been possible to together achieve ambitious goals.”
Thomas Straubhaar, President ANQ

In her speech, Heidi Hanselmann, President of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Health Directors (GDK), emphasised that robust persistence, the continuing belief in the benefits of a national association and the refusal to abandon this belief have finally paid dividends.

Cantonal Councillor Heidi Hanselmann brought with her a metre-long St. Gallen Biber pastry as a gift: 10 cm of the best energy-packed food for every year of ANQ’s anniversary.

She used creative wordplay to explain why the phrase “alpha and omega” is a suitable for marking ANQ’s birthday:

Quality assurance is the “alpha and omega” of healthcare. “Alpha and omega” - or at least “A and O” - can stand for “alert and orientated”. Other interpretations seem appropriate to the subject too; other “As and Os” such as application and objectivity, or how to adjust and oppose, are also constant companions of ANQ. And finally, there is the “A and O” that represents the status of ANQ today - in other words, “approved and official”.

Pascal Strupler, Director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), put the continuing task of the maintenance of quality at the core of his speech. He also complimented ANQ on the services it has provided to date and looked at the forthcoming implementation of the Swiss Health Insurance Act (KVG), revised in 2019.

Prof. Urs Brügger, Director of Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, explained how he sees quality reviews in the age of likes and emojis.

He presented his anniversary gift in the form of food for thought. He pointed out that ANQ could also implement PROMs (Patient-Reported Outcome Measures) in the acute care sector and that more attention should be paid to the quality of indications in general.

During the intermission, Ferrucio Cainero, a master storyteller, entertained the anniversary guests with a witty tale that began with Chronos, the personification of time ...

Image acknowledgements: © Béatrice Devènes / ANQ