I first heard of ISQua in 1995 in the framework of its 12th International Conference, when I attended a meeting organized by PAHO and WHO in Saint John's, Newfoundland (Canada), on “Applicability of different Quality Assurance methodologies in developing countries”.
In Argentina, under the auspices of PAHO, between 1990 and 1991 I had coordinated the writing of the “Hospital Accreditation Manual for Latin America and the Caribbean” draft paper.
Encouraged by these activities in 1993 a group of health specialists invited Avedis Donabedian to pronounce a cycle of conferences. In that time we were developing a Hospital Accreditation program, for which we had created a specific organization, ITAES.
Knowing the experiences on Quality of other countries, motivated us to seek a greater insertion in the ISQua and promote alliances with other organizations also dedicated to Quality. We reached to set up a significant trend and important supports. As a result, in 2001 we were able to organize the 18th International Conference in Buenos Aires.
Since then, an Argentine Quality Society (SACAS) was created and various initiatives emerged in the country: courses, conferences, seminars, meetings. The effort made in Buenos Aires and the attendance of ISQua Conferences allowed us to connect with other initiatives in Latin America.
This Regional convergence reflected in alliances with more developed organizations: FAD of Spain, JCI, URC and IHI of the US and, of course, ISQua.
In the last decade, various regional initiatives and the support of international entities, allowed the development of a Latin American Collaborative Forum of Quality and Safety in Health, which has already organized ten annual meetings, joint to important events in Colombia, Chile, Peru and Brazil.
Throughout the last three decades, we could see that the international Quality trend was evolving in the countries and within ISQua itself. In the 1990’s, the greatest interest was focused on the external evaluation modalities (Accreditation, Certification, ISO, Licensing). In the 2000’s, the Quality trend moved inside of health institutions, trying to guarantee patient safety.
In the last decade, several management techniques were incorporated, aimed at achieving efficient organizations, effective procedures and institutional structures focused on patient needs.
Hugo E. Arce