Symposiums & Roundtables


The International Symposium and Roundtable on Healthcare Communication (ISRHC) is a biennial event for international experts in healthcare communication to share research, knowledge and ideas of best practice. Previous ISRHC events have proven to be extremely successful in not only strengthening and extending the IRCCH international network, but also in facilitating crossdisciplinary, multiinstitutional and international collaboration.
Upcoming Event

The 4th International Symposium on Healthcare Communication
Communicating for Patient Safety: Translating Research into Practice
Monday, 27th June 2016




Past events have included:



The 3rd International Roundtable and Symposium on Healthcare Communication


Enhancing Healthcare Practice by Translating Communication Research
Saturday-Sunday, 27th-28th June 2015

Communicating for Compassionate Healthcare: Mobilizing Values to Practice
Monday, 29th June 2015



‘Seminar on Research Methods in Healthcare Communication’, at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, December 1, 2014


This event focused on current quantitative and qualitative research strategies in this field. The seminar featured top international scholars in healthcare communication, including Professor Peter Schultz and Professor Srikant Sarangi. The objective of this unique event was to enhance our collective understanding of current methodological issues and strategic directions in international healthcare communication research.


The seminar included:
• Professor Peter Schultz’s 2.5 hr presentation and discussion on quantitative methods in healthcare communication research in the morning
• Professor Srikant Sarangi’s 2.5 hr presentation and discussion on qualitative methods in healthcare communication research in the afternoon
• Panel discussion on methodology, led by a range of experts in the field
• Opportunities for informal discussion and professional interaction


Peter J. Schulz is Professor for Communication Theories and Health Communication at the Faculty of Communication Sciences and Director of the Institute of Communication and Health at theUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI). He currently holds several research project grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, among them one for a doctoral school for Communication & Health, and other funding bodies (including among others, King´s Fund, UK, CancerBackup, UK and EU) in the area of health communication.


Srikant Sarangi is Professor in Humanities and Medicine and Director of the Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine/Health (DIHMH) at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is also Honorary Professor at Cardiff University where, between 1993 and 2013, he was Professor in Language and Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre at Cardiff University. Currently he also holds the positions of Visiting Research Professor, Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, The University of Hong Kong and Visiting Professor, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malay, Malaysia.



‘Mini Roundtable on Healthcare Communication’ at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, June 25, 2014



‘Fostering International Research Collaboration for Safer and More Compassionate Healthcare Practices’ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, June 24 – 26, 2013



‘Research and Training in an International Perspective’, at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, March 14 – 16, 2011



Feedback from the 2nd International Symposium and Roundtable on Healthcare Communication:


Dr Ian Alastair BONNIN | Director of Medical Services, Central Adelaide Palliative Care Service, Adelaide, South Australia

“I found the Symposium and Roundtable on health communication a fascinating and very worthwhile event. I find that many of the themes discussed are resonating in my daily clinical work, and I am keen to follow up on a number of matters. I am particularly interested in the work on handover being done by the West Australian group, and am hoping to further explore this with them. I would certainly be interested in attending this forum again.”


Dr William T. BRANCH, Jr., MD, MACP | Carter Smith, Senior, Professor of Medicine and Past Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine

“I think the event was very successful and well organized and look forward to future meetings. I believe we have 2 excellent opportunities as a group. First, to form international collaborations for research in communication. Second, to form collaborations between linguists and clinicians. These combinations may present some unique opportunities. Best wishes and thanks for your good work.”


Dr Engle Angela CHAN | Associate Professor/Associate Head (Undergraduate Studies), School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

“I think this round of the symposium has not only enriched the dialogue of various topics on the communication issues within health care locally and globally, but it truly was well co-ordinated for our continuous collaborative work for grant submissions.”


Dr Lap Ki CHAN | Assistant Dean (Education); Deputy Director, Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education; Associate Professor, Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education and Department of Anatomy Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong

“Thank you again for organizing the 2nd Symposium and Roundtable on Healthcare Communication and for inviting me to be part of this very meaningful and stimulating event. Being from a clinical discipline but now involved primarily in medical education, I found the event to be most rewarding, because it brought people with different backgrounds and expertise together to brainstorm. It is a particularly valuable experience for me because it expanded my horizon of looking at health communication. I hope the event can continue in the future to further foster cross-disciplinary, crosscultural, and cross-language collaborations. Thanks again!”


Prof. CHAN Li Chong | Chair Professor, Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong

“I write to congratulate the organizers for planning such a unique conference and innovative program. I was uplifted by the diversity of the expertise present, the sharing and learning from each other. I could sense some concrete collaborative research proposals coming out and it would be important to have a third meeting to follow up on the outcome, and to enhance our own work and that of others in communication in healthcare.”


Dr Suzanne EGGINS | Research Fellow, Effective Clinical Communication in Handovers, (ECCHo) Project, University of Technology, Sydney

“The 2nd Symposium and Roundtable on Healthcare Communication provided an invaluable opportunity for me, as an Australian healthcare researcher, to share ideas with international experts in the field in a concentrated and stimulating environment. At international healthcare communication conferences speakers with shared research interests are too often scattered across a crowded program, making it difficult to listen to research reports and follow up with personal discussions. Uniquely, the Roundtable and Symposium brought together researchers from different research backgrounds and approaches but who all shared a commitment to communication research that will make a difference to healthcare outcomes in real, dynamic and very challenging healthcare contexts around the world. The two-day Symposium built on the Roundtable, providing time for small groups of researchers to work together to establish clear and feasible research priorities and projects. The events were superbly organised and managed by the staff at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. All details were well managed, the facilities were first class and the technical support for presenters was excellent.”


Prof. Dorothy JONES | Executive Director, Performance Activity & Quality Division, Department of Health, Western Australia; Professor of Clinical Safety & Quality, Curtin University

“Down under we are remembering Hong Kong and all our new friends with great affection. I am looking forward to the next international round table. Well done PolyU!”


Prof. Suzanne KURTZ | University of Calgary, Canada (Professor Emerita) & Washington State University, USA

“Developing an International Centre for Research (and Education) on Communication in Healthcare and bringing together this particular international, interdisciplinary group of clinicians, educators and researchers to work together to do so – provided us with a timely and unique opportunity to impact research and education on communication in healthcare internationally as well as in the Pacific Rim per se. Our 2nd Symposium on Healthcare Communication – including the exciting official launch of the Centre that we envisioned after our 1st Symposium – offered an invaluable opportunity for ‘founding’ members of the Center to meet and hear about each other’s current work and to both present to and discuss that work with a discerning, larger audience. With those foundations established in the Symposium, the Roundtable that followed was particularly useful, enabling us to discuss in appropriate depth our ideas for the Centre and to lay the groundwork and build the relationships so essential for future international collaboration within the Centre. Across the 40 plus years of my academic career, I have found nothing that can take the place of the kind of face-to-face opportunity that this combination Symposium and Roundtable gave us to accomplish each of these objectives and to initiate the Centre so substantively.

The participatory processes, through which we a) divided into smaller groups for our Roundtable discussions regarding short and long term planning for the Centre and b) ascertained themes and potential projects that would be the focus of our initial collaborations, gave each participant excellent opportunity to voice individual ideas and opinions while capitalizing on the group’s collective insight and experience. Commendations to all who were involved – to those who organized and facilitated these processes before, during, and after the meetings so admirably and to the Roundtable participants themselves – for devising, preparing, and taking up these processes with such enthusiasm, skill and integrity. The opportunities that organizers built into our time together for getting to know each other and engaging in this work informally were invaluable, as well. This was an outstanding series of meetings and I deeply appreciate participating in them with each of you!”


Prof. Peter SCHULZ | Director of Institute of Communication and Health, Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Lugano, Switzerland

“Let me thank you so much for organizing such a wonderful event in Hong Kong. Everything was most enjoyable, but the most important thing seems to me that this initiative of a Centre in Healthcare Communication does have an enormous potential to change the ongoing research as well as the practice in Healthcare Communication in Asia. From my side, I am most interested in starting cross-cultural research between Europe (here: Switzerland) and this Center in Asia, bringing in also research funding from Switzerland. No doubt that this will be possible. All the best and thanks again to all involved.”