We are immensely grateful to His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, for their vision and direction which have enabled us to make great progress throughout 2016. Under their gracious patronage, we are guided by our vision to provide the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to each and every one of our patients.
The announcement in early 2016 of our Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation as an Academic Medical Center is one of which we are all very proud. Our teams performed exceptionally to ensure that more than 300 standards and 1,400 measurable elements throughout our hospitals were up to the high standards required by the JCI. The achievement meant Hamad became the first healthcare system across the globe to have all its hospitals accredited by JCI under the Academic Medical Center accreditation program, as well as the first hospital system outside of the United States to achieve JCI Academic Medical Center accreditation for all its hospitals simultaneously.
Achieving academic JCI accreditation was a significant milestone for Hamad and a strong endorsement of the quality of our services. It demonstrates our commitment to consistently providing excellent care, while sharing new learnings and developing innovative ways of delivering high-quality care.
As well as continually striving to deliver the highest standards of care, we have also had to treat increasing numbers of patients in many areas of our services. Most notably, in 2016 we helped deliver 18 percent more babies across our maternity units and responded to 10 percent more ambulance calls than in 2015, while the number of outpatient visits and admitted patients also increased.
In response to this demand, we have increased capacity across our system by opening new facilities and expanding existing ones. The formal opening of the Communicable Disease Center and the commencement of outpatient services at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute at the end of 2016 marked the unofficial start of what will be the largest expansion phase in Hamad’s history – one which will deliver five new hospitals, with the Ambulatory Care Center and Women’s Wellness and Research Center beginning services in 2017 and a new hospital in the industrial area in 2018.
In addition to beginning services at two new hospitals, the Bone and Joint Center and Pediatric Emergency Center Al Sadd have both undergone significant expansion, while the Neuroangiography Suite, Enaya Continuing Care Center, and our new surgical services facility at Hamad General Hospital have all been opened. Not only have these facilities provided greater capacity, they have also meant our clinical teams can deliver care in state-of-the-art environments, utilizing the most technologically advanced equipment.
While it was clear at the start of last year that more beds, equipment and facilities were necessary, it was also clear that if we improved our operational efficiencies, we could make greater use of our existing resources.
The establishment of the Operational Performance System, which aims to improve bed management across the system as a whole, and the Outpatient Improvement Program, designed to enhance processes in our outpatient clinics, are just two examples of initiatives that have been introduced specifically to improve operational efficiency.
The implementation of the Clinical Information System at Hamad General Hospital in May 2016 was a huge achievement and one that completed the roll-out across all our hospitals. The benefits of the Clinical Information System – providing each patient with a personal electronic health record – are already evident and helping advance the quality of care for our patients. The electronic patient record system was one of many technological advances throughout the year – with state- of-the-art systems also introduced to improve efficiency and safety within the laboratory and pharmacy departments, new fleet management software implemented within the Ambulance Service and telemedicine systems launched for stroke patients.
We continue to strengthen our academic health vision, combining high-quality research and education to deliver excellent clinical care. Our JCI accreditation as an Academic Medical Center was a significant milestone and endorsement of the progress we have made in recent years to embed academic health throughout Hamad. Research is central to academic health, and during 2016 our researchers continued their pursuit of finding new and innovative treatments for our patients. Last year, Hamad’s research investigators received grant awards through the Qatar National Research Fund totaling around $3,500,000.
There is much to look forward to in the year ahead. We will notably increase our capacity and quality of care through the expansion of services in the new hospitals. Furthermore, systems and programs that we worked so hard to implement in 2016, such as the Clinical Information System, will become further embedded in our network and deliver tangible benefits for our patients.
It is evident throughout this report that we have made significant progress across our hospitals and corporate departments. It is these achievements, combined with the clear and forward-thinking vision of Qatar’s leaders, which puts us in a strong position for the year ahead as we continue to play an important part in the ongoing development and prosperity of Qatar.
Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al KuwariMinister of Public Health and Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation