Guido Offermanns and Andrea Schweiger presented two papers and a poster at the conference of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQUA) in Seoul (South Korea)

Guido Offermanns took part in the congress of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQUA) in Seoul (South Korea) from 27 to 31 August. With over 1,600 participants from 77 countries, a record number of visitors was set, making the congress ISQUA’s largest event to date. Over 350 health professionals shared and reflected on their knowledge with a focus on quality and safety in healthcare organisations. Discussions also took place on future-relevant topics such as sustainability and digitalisation.

In the first lecture, “Processes and structures affecting tumour board quality: a systematic review”, the results of a systematic review were presented, which illustrates the current state of research on the quality of work in multidisciplinary teams using the example of tumour boards. Tumour boards are interdisciplinary case reviews and discussions in oncology in which a treatment recommendation is made for patients. The aim is to find the best and evidence-based decision for the patients concerned in the multidisciplinary team. This is associated with a high financial, personnel and time expenditure, while the quality of the work in tumour boards is difficult to measure and prove. The key message of the systematic review is that tumour boards, which have to deal with complex tasks in the context of treatment decisions, must use targeted team development tools in order to optimise and coordinate the care process in the long term. In this way, it may be possible to improve cooperation within the teams on the one hand and improve the outcome of patient care on the other. However, this can pose a major challenge in the context of implementation in expert organisations, as different professional groups, each with different professional perspectives, come together in the tumour boards.


The poster “Tumour boards and their quality of processes, structures and outcomes from the experts’ perspective: a qualitative study in an academic hospital” shows the results of 56 interviews with health professionals. From this it was possible to derive themes that were incorporated into the development of an empirical instrument for measuring the quality of the work of teams.


Referring to this topic, the next presentation “Quality improvement in multidisciplinary cancer team meetings at a university hospital: First results of a self-assessment tool” dealt with results from an empirical study at an Austrian university hospital, which used a self-assessment tool to measure the increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of teamwork in tumour boards and promote the implementation of potential improvements. The results show the essential importance of team culture, the decision-making process, the regular presence of the disciplines, the formal structures in the tumour boards and the appropriate documentation with the resulting implementation of the recommendations in the clinics. In order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the work in the tumour boards, scientifically proven instruments for team development can be used in a targeted manner


Link to the conference and further information:

For further information please contact Guido Offermanns, guido [dot] offermanns [at] aau [dot] at

Pictures by Guido Offermanns and ISQUA