March 2012

Men Urged to Take Initiative for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer, 14 March 2012

Men should take the initiative to consult with their doctors to enable early screening for prostate cancer, according to two experts from the Uro-Oncology Unit at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Dr Nagy Younes and Dr Khalid Al Rumaihi, Consultants of Surgery/Urology at HMC, highlight the importance of early screening so that prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers in men, can be diagnosed while it is still treatable. The experts encourage men to talk to their doctor about any questions they may have about prostate cancer, and to discuss their treatment options with their physician if they are diagnosed with the disease.

“Cases of prostate cancer have increased by more than triple in Qatar in ten years,” said Dr Al Rumaihi. “The increase in the number of prostate cases can be attributed to the increase in population as well as an increase in the number of detected cases.”

Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland – a small, walnut-sized structure that is found below the bladder and in front of the rectum, and makes up part of a man's reproductive system. The cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. More advanced prostate cancer may cause symptoms such as trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area, and bone pain.

A yearly prostate examination is particularly important for men after the age of 50, who are at a higher risk of having prostate cancer. Other risk factors include family history and elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in young men.

One of the initiatives being pursued by HMC is the setting up of specialist clinics that provide rapid diagnosis of different conditions. The Uro-Oncology Unit is one of the first specialist clinics providing valuable screening and diagnosis support to patients suffering from prostate cancer, as well as those with bladder, renal and testicular cancer.

“About 50 patients with prostate cancer are now being treated by the Uro-Oncology Unit per year,” said Dr Younes. “The disease is curable when diagnosed and treated early. However, about 50 percent of patients seeking treatment at HMC are diagnosed when the cancer is already advanced, which makes treatment difficult.”

“Besides prostate cancer, the unit also treats about 25-30 patients with bladder cancer, 25-30 renal cancer patients and 10-12 testicular cancer patients per year. Most of these patients come early, while the cancer is still treatable,” Dr Younes added.

“Priority cases that should be seen immediately include those with hematuria (blood in urine), those whose ultrasound show renal lumps, and those who have testicular lumps,” Dr Younes explained. The Uro-Oncology Department is planning an orientation for Primary Healthcare Center workers as part of its efforts to raise awareness regarding the cancer.

A healthy overall lifestyle, with a proper diet rich in fruits and vegetables and less red meat or fatty foods, as well as physical exercise, is important in preventing different types of cancer.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

HMC Celebrates 3rd GCC Nursing Day, 14 March 2012

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) today hosted the third GCC Nursing Day which celebrates the significant contribution of nurses to the field of healthcare. The event was attended by nurses and healthcare teams across HMC and representatives from Primary Healthcare and the University of Calgary-Qatar’s nursing program. Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director and other HMC executives also felicitated the nurses on the occasion.

“Nurses have a tremendous impact on the way healthcare is delivered to the community. They are the most visible members of any hospital’s workforce and have the most frequent interaction with patients and families,” said Ms Mariam Al Mutawa, Chairperson of the GCC Nursing Day Organizing Committee.

GCC Nursing Day is celebrated every 13 March to commemorate the establishment of the first nursing facility in a tent by Rufaida Al Aslamiya, who is honored throughout the Eastern world as a nursing pioneer. Rufaida ministered to the wounded along with her colleagues during the great battle of Al Khandaq in the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Dr Nabila Al Meer, Executive Director of Nursing at HMC gave the introduction and opening speech at the ceremony held at Hajar Auditorium. “The theme for this year is ‘Promoting the Nursing Profession is the Responsibility of the Society’. This year’s celebration highlights the advance practice roles of nurses in healthcare, continuing education for nurses, the professional career ladder for nurses, transforming nursing into an Academic Health System, and the role of nurses in research and evidence-based practice, as well as our goal of attaining a Magnet status (nursing excellence),” said Dr Al Meer.

The opening ceremony was marked by inspirational messages, choral group singing, poem recital, and recognition of outstanding staff, as well as a presentation on the occasion’s historical background which included role-playing of the lives of two nursing pioneers, Rufaida and her Western counterpart, Florence Nightingale.

The event also included presentations which focused on the different roles of nurses particularly in advance practice roles, organ transplant, transforming to nursing excellence, incorporating research in the nursing profession, nursing achievements in promoting health within the school, enhancing the nursing professional image through embedding a culture of education best practice, and holistic nursing care and machines as advanced technology in the critical care unit.

Entertainment activities continued at the Club Hotel in Hamad Medical City.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

Hamad Medical Corporation Showcases Its’ Life Changing Work at MEDHEALTH 2012 in Amman, Doha, 13 March 2012

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is showcasing its world class healthcare credentials and advancements at MEDHEALTH Congress and Exhibition 2012 being held in Amman, Jordan 14-15 March 2012. Organized by the Arab Hospitals Federation (AHF), MEDHEALTH 2012 is being held concurrently with the Arab Health Ministers Council’s Executive Board meeting and under the auspices of His Majesty King Abdulla II of Jordan.

This will be HMC’s fourth year participating in the Congress and Exhibition and in 2012 is highlighting its life changing work in organ transplantation services as well as its ground breaking medical education programs. Representatives from HMC will also participate in the congress program and will highlight the creation of the region’s first Academic Health System (AHS) involving the corporation and its healthcare, research and education partners.

Mr. Mohamed Mubarak Al Noimi, Executive Director, Corporate Communications Department, HMC, said: “HMC’s ongoing participation in MEDHEALTH Congress and Exhibition is part of the pioneering medical and clinical role played by the Corporation in the State of Qatar as the premier healthcare provider in the country,” he said.

“HMC will showcase, at its pavilion in the exhibition, the full spectrum of its healthcare capabilities and the tremendous development it has witnessed throughout the few past years,” Mr. Al Noimi said. MEDHEALTH Amman 2012 is organized with support from the Arab League, the Executive Board of the Arab Health Ministers Council, GCC Health Ministers Executive Board and the Jordanian Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.

The congress program features current healthcare-related topics, including a review of emerging trends, managing quality care in the next decade, sustainability in healthcare, leadership and managing local and global health tourism. The Exhibition will be held simultaneously with the scientific program and will showcase products and services from major Arab hospitals, clinics and associations, specialized medical centers, medical facilitators, ICT companies, and pharmaceutical, medical equipment, quality consulting and health insurance companies.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

New Fixed time Appointment System Introduced at Hamad General Hospital Outpatients Department, Doha, 5 March 2012

New system shortens waiting times and gives priority to most urgent cases: Hamad General Hospital (HGH) is implementing a new Fixed Time Appointment System across the Outpatient Department (OPD) that will shorten waiting times and give priority to most urgent cases.

This is part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s strong commitment to improving its services and shortening patient waiting times at its hospitals.

The new fixed time appointment system will give priority to urgent or critical cases and to Qatari patients. Under the new system, waiting times will be reduced.

HMC implemented this project through a collaborative initiative between the HMC’s Center for Healthcare Improvement and HGH. HMC has developed a Patient Contact Center which will enable patients to call the Hospital from their homes or office with ease and convenience to enquire about their appointment. The Patient Contact Center is open between the hours of 7am and 6pm and is staffed by qualified and dedicated employees to operate the Center.

HMC Managing Director Hanan Al Kuwari PhD, said today:“The launch of the Fixed Time Appointment System is a continuation and confirmation of the significant success achieved by the Women’s Hospital in October 2009 and the HGH’s Pediatric Outpatient Clinic in May 2011. Following the success of the new appointment system in these areas we will now be extending these changes across all Outpatient Departments at Hamad General Hospital.

“We believe the HMC’s new Fixed Time Appointment System and the Patient Contact Center will become the starting place for excellence in patient service and appointment scheduling in our Outpatient Departments. Furthermore, hospital employees received continuous and intensive training to play an important and efficient role in this initiative that we expect to be as successful as the previous two that were implemented”.

“The new Fixed Time Appointment system was established to support services offered by HMC to all patients. This is part of its commitment to providing the best diagnostic and treatment services that meet the highest international performance standards”, added Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari.

Under the new system, patients will no longer need to visit the clinic to book an appointment. When a patient receives a medical referral from a Primary Health Center, or the Emergency Department, HMC will receive a copy of the referral from the treating physician. Following the evaluation of the patient’s medical case by the specialist doctor, the Patient Contact Center will call the patient to arrange an appointment at a time that is convenient for him to visit the OPD clinic.

Mr. Nasser Al Naimi, Executive Director of the Center of Healthcare Improvement at HMC said: “We are very proud to add these upgrades and improvements to the healthcare services offered to patients at HMC. This new Fixed Time Appointment System and Patient Contact Center will help patients book, reschedule, or cancel their appointment by phone. These changes will help us to improve the way in which we deliver care to our patients” he said.

“The Patient Contact Center will also serve as the main point of contact for all patients referred to OPD clinics. With the implementation of the new system, we will no longer see walk in patients without a prior appointment,” continued Mr. Al Naimi.

To ensure the successful implementation of the new Fixed Time Appointment System in the OPD clinics at HGH, HMC is asking all patients to abide by their appointment times. If they find themselves unable to keep their appointment, they must call the Appointment Booking Center ahead of time at 4439 5777 to reschedule a new appointment at a time convenient for them.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

Rumailah Hospital’s Patients and Visitors Service Center Conducts Blood Donation Campaign, 4 March 2012

The Patients and Visitors Service Center at Rumailah Hospital on Thursday held a Blood Donation Campaign for hospital staff from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Around 200 staff members from Rumailah Hospital’s different departments participated in the campaign.

“We came up with this initiative to encourage hospital staff to voluntarily donate blood, so that we can help increase the supply in the HMC Blood Bank,” said Ms Salam Nassar, Manager of the Patients and Visitors Service Center (PVSC) at Rumailah Hospital. “Blood donation is a noble deed that saves lives, and we want to be part of this endeavor of saving lives. With the full support of our leadership, we facilitated the campaign and sent a letter to each department for staff members who are willing to come and donate blood.”

The staff members who wanted to donate were first assessed by the blood donation staff through questionnaires intended to assess their general health and suitability for donation. The next stage of the assessment involved checking the donor’s height, weight, temperature, blood pressure and hemoglobin level. The assessment is part of intensive quality control procedures to ensure that the blood donated will be safe and truly beneficial for patients in need of it.

“Not everyone can donate as the blood donation staff has to assess if they are good and fit for donation or if there are any conditions that may affect their suitability,” Nassar explained. The PVSC has allocated two rooms for the assessment and has also provided snacks, gifts and certificates of appreciation for the staff members who participated.

HMC’s blood bank supplies blood and blood components for all hospitals in the country, including private hospitals. Blood donors are the only source for blood in Qatar. With the increasing population and the opening of new hospitals such as Heart Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and The Cuban Hospital, there is also an expected increase in demand for blood or blood products.

Blood donation at HMC is a safe procedure that is carried out by trained medical staff under the supervision of qualified, experienced doctors. The entire blood donation process, including the assessment, only takes about 40 minutes.

The Patients and Visitors Service Center was established at HMC in 2009 with the aim of making patients and visitors feel more welcome, and helping them through any difficulties in accessing services or finding the location of different departments within HMC hospitals. The presence of the helpful and knowledgeable staff has been felt as patients and visitors find it easier to navigate the hospital compound or lodge their complaints.

“We are always willing to carry out initiatives that will reflect well on the quality of our services,” said Nassar.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department