Today, the largest conference dedicated to healthcare quality improvement and patient safety in the Arab world concluded, with over 2,500 delegates attending the three-day event.
The 6th Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, an international quality improvement conference for healthcare professionals, was officially opened on Saturday morning. Speaking during the conference’s opening ceremony, Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari said it had been a remarkable year for healthcare in Qatar, noting that the current rate of growth in services, facilities, and staff across the healthcare sector is unparalleled.
Her Excellency stated that this growth has been possible because of the commitment His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, The Emir, has shown toward investing in the health of the people of Qatar. She added that His Highness’s aspiration, delivered through Qatar’s National Vision 2030, recognizes the importance of both healthcare delivery and of improving the population’s health.
“With over 40,000 patients receiving care at the three new Hamad Medical City hospitals each month, and Sidra Medicine having commenced delivery of its inpatient services, joined by the addition of six new Primary Health Care Wellness Centres that are providing patients with care closer to their homes, there has never been a more exciting time for healthcare in Qatar,” said Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.
Citing Qatar’s ranking by the Legatum Institute as thirteenth in the world for healthcare systems, Her Excellency added that growth and expansion of care facilities was only part of the equation. She highlighted the importance of the Forum as a learning opportunity that supports thousands of healthcare workers who are committed to raising the quality of care provided to patients.
“Many of you here today represent Qatar’s highly-skilled and productive healthcare workforce. Each and every day you reaffirm your commitment to delivering the very best care to the population of Qatar. Participation in this Forum is testament to the value our country’s healthcare professionals place on investing their time and effort to deliver better care to our patients,” added Her Excellency.
During the opening ceremony, which was also held in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Basel Hamoud Al Hamad Al Sabah, Kuwait Minister of Health, and His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Obaid Al Saidi, Oman Minister of Health, the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 was officially launched. Her Excellency, Dr. Al Kuwari, stated that the inaugural Strategy had laid the foundation for rapid change across the continuum of care. She noted that the new Strategy centered on designing and delivering services around patients, and critically around seven priority population groups, reflecting an investment in both current and future generations.
The Forum, which included more than 60 sessions delivered by over 20 international and 65 locally-based presenters, was developed by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Patient-centered care, joy at work, improvement science, patient safety and leadership, and capacity building were among the topics covered as part of the event’s theme of ‘Building a Culture of Safety’. Ms. Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow at the IHI, delivered one of four plenary sessions entitled ‘New Ways for Courage and Caring’, exploring how care providers can use innovative ideas to improve healthcare.
"This conference is exciting because it allows us to really examine the 'triple aim' - the idea of how we can make care better, more efficient, and more patient-centered. What is truly exciting for me is thinking about the health of the population and what we can do to protect good health and prevent illness and disease. I think this is the future of healthcare," said Ms. Bisognano.
The three-day conference also saw the launch of the MyHealth patient portal, a joint initiative of HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) that allows patients to access their electronic personal health record online and through a mobile app. The conference also served as the backdrop to the unveiling of the Nursing Now campaign, a three-year initiative run in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses that seeks to empower nurses, enhancing their influence and maximizing their contribution to healthcare delivery.
The Knowledge Zone, the Forum’s unique exhibition area, with over 20 exhibitors was a popular gathering place for conference attendees. The Knowledge Zone also served as the venue for the poster exhibition, which featured over a hundred posters depicting the best improvement work from healthcare professionals in Qatar. The poster exhibition is a key component of the quality improvement and safety program.