Improving Real-World Innovation and Problem Solving in Clinical Ethics: Insights from the First Clinical Ethics Un-Conference

Hilary Mabel, Bethany Bruno, Jane Jankowski, Margot M. Eves, and Paul J. Ford


Despite an abundance of academic conferences, clinical ethicists lacked a forum to share innovative practices with peers and to generate solutions to common challenges. Organizers of the first Clinical Ethics Un-Conference developed a working event centered on active participation and problem solving through peer learning, with the goal of improving real-world practice. Registrants included 95 individuals from 64 institutions. Attendees were surveyed immediately after the Un-Conference, and again eight months later. After eight months, 85 percent (n = 33/39) of the survey respondents reported that they found the event “highly impactful” or “somewhat impactful” to their clinical practice, and 23 attendees reported that they had implemented ideas or projects inspired by the event. Three sets of best practice guidelines and four white papers were published from the event. As the field of clinical ethics continues to advance and evolve, this working event format offers an innovative, disruptive alternative to a traditional conference format and may serve as a model for future efforts aimed at improving real-world clinical ethics practice.



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