The Patients Included charter enables conference organizers to demonstrate that their events are committed to incorporating the experience of patients as experts living with their condition, while ensuring they are neither excluded nor exploited. Patients Included status is self-assessed. A conference successfully meeting all five of the charter’s clauses may accredit itself as a Patients Included event. The HTAi 2018 Annual Meeting Vancouver fulfills the five Patients Included charter clauses as follows:
Patients or caregivers with experience relevant to the conference’s central theme actively participate in the design and planning of the event, including the selection of themes, topics and speakers.
HTAi’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be held from June 1st-5th, 2018 in Vancouver, BC. As part of the planning process, the International Scientific Programme Committee (ISPC) has had discussions regarding the overall theme, and potential plenary sessions and speakers for the conference that would be inclusive to patients or caregivers. Members of the ISPC include a patient representative to ensure that the scientific content takes into account topics that are meaningful to patients and caregivers. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) is also asked to consider and identify ways in which to include patients and/or caregivers in the Annual Meeting programme. In addition, the HTAi Patient Interest Group has the opportunity to endorse abstracts for inclusion in the programme. There is also a patient focused category included in the abstract submission topics (Patient Involvement in Heath Technology Assessment).
Patients or caregivers with experience of the issues addressed by the event participate in its delivery, and appear in its physical audience.
When reviewing all abstract submissions for all conference sessions, we seek to include those that involve patient collaborations to encourage patient & career related submissions, many of which may include patients being actively involved in the session. Abstracts are awarded an additional point if there is patient, user or client representation involved in the presentation thereby attending the Annual Meeting.
Travel and accommodation expenses for patients or carers participating in the advertised programme are paid in full, in advance. Scholarships are provided by the conference organisers to allow patients or carers affected by the relevant issues to attend as delegates.
HTAi offers Travel Grants to support and encourage attendance of patients and caregivers who would otherwise not be able to attend the HTAi Annual Meeting for the purpose of presenting their work or otherwise benefitting from participation in the global HTA community. These grants are funded directly by HTAi and in some cases, are sponsored by external parties on an unconditional basis.
Approximately 20 Travel Grants are available to a maximum of $2,200 USD each and are awarded in advance of the Annual Meeting. Expenses eligible to be covered by HTAi Travel Grants include economy direct travel, accommodation for the duration of the Annual Meeting and meeting registration costs at the early bird rate. The full Travel Grant guidelines can be found on the 2018 HTAi website.
In addition, HTAi provides payment of all travel expenses and registration costs for all invited Plenary Speakers of the Annual Meeting, some of which may be patients or carers.
The disability requirements of participants are accommodated. All applicable sessions, breakouts, ancillary meetings, and other programme elements are open to patient delegates.
The 2018 HTAi Annual Meeting will be held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. All scientific programme sessions will be open to all delegates wishing to attend and the Westin Bayshore meets the Canadian Standards Association accessibility standards to ensure all guests can be accommodated.
Guide Dogs are permitted throughout the hotel. There are escalators and elevators in the conference centre along with accessible washrooms. The accessible washrooms on the main floor of the conference centre also have open assist buttons. The hotel has accessible guest rooms as well and can offer roll in showers, shower seats, elevated toilet seats, handrails, visual or vibration alarms and lowered peep holes, closet hangers, etc.
The Westin Bayshore Vancouver and HTAi are committed to ensuring that all disability requirements of participants are accommodated and that all session spaces and programme elements are accessible to all. The Westin Bayshore staff are trained to provide assistance to visitors with limited mobility as well as other disabilities or needs.
Access for virtual participants is facilitated, with free streaming video provided online wherever possible.
The HTAi 2018 Annual Meeting will work to make the main plenary and a number of concurrent sessions available by streaming video through the HTAi website (www.HTAi2018.org) or other methods, wherever possible. These sessions that are streamed will be available to members who may not be able to attend the conference. After the event, access to the presentation recordings, PowerPoint presentations and e-posters will be available to all HTAi Members and delegates of the conference. Those that are unable to attend will be able to participate in conference discussions using the hashtag #HTAiVancouver2018.
For additional information on Patients Included Charters visit the Patients Included website.