Doha, 25 June, 2019: Last month Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) announced the accreditation of thirteen of its facilities and services by the Joint Commission International (JCI), including the re-accreditation of three of its general hospitals – Al Khor Hospital, The Cuban Hospital, and Al Wakra Hospital. As part of the re-accreditation, a team of JCI surveyors evaluated a number of areas ranging from patient satisfaction, to performance improvements and efficiency, and an official has revealed the survey report findings indicate HMC’s general hospitals are on par with the world’s best hospitals.
In 2016, HMC made history becoming the first healthcare organization in the world to have all its hospitals qualified under the JCI Academic Medical Center accreditation program. Since this time HMC’s general hospitals have undergone considerable growth, both in terms of the number of patients treated and the services offered. Al Khor Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohammed Al Jusaiman says amidst expanding patient needs, HMC’s general hospitals have continued to make quality of care and patient safety top priorities.
“In 2018 we cared for over 350,000 patients across our emergency department, various outpatient departments, and day care, radiology, and dialysis units. In spite of increased patient numbers, we’ve continued to implement key improvement initiatives that are making a real difference to the quality of care we provide,” said Mr. Al Jusaiman, who is also Deputy Chief of HMC’s General Hospitals Group.
Mr. Al Jusaiman says one improvement initiative recently introduced led to the establishment of two new clinics which have reduced patient wait times and improved patient experience. The establishment of a post-discharge clinic to provide follow-up care for discharged patients and a pre-operative clinic to assess patients before surgery have both improved patient satisfaction and reduced wait times from up to eight weeks for the pre-operative clinic and up to ten weeks for the post-discharge clinic to just one week.
Al Wakra Hospital, which cares for patients in the south of the country, was also recognized for its role in bringing specialist services into the community setting. The country’s only dedicated burns unit was relocated to the general hospital and a number of specialized clinics, including the region’s only Urinary Stone Center, have been established at Al Wakra Hospital.
“We are delighted to have once again achieved JCI accreditation. Since our last surveyor visit in 2016, we have expanded the quality and range of services we deliver to our patients. We’ve opened a new Admissions and Discharge Lounge to improve our patient’s care experience and we speed up the admission and discharge process,” said
Dr. Sabah Al Kadhi, Al Wakra Hospital's Medical Director.
“We’ve also established a Hernia Surgery Center which is the only internationally accredited facility in the region to offer patients robotic hernia repair and last year we began treating patients at our new specialized Urinary Stone Center, which is also the first of its kind in the region. We were also chosen to be the home for HMC’s expanded Burns Unit, which has its own dedicated operating theater as well as inpatient rooms and an occupational therapy room,” added Dr. Al Kadhi.
The Cuban Hospital was also acknowledged for its expansion of services which include a laser eye surgery clinic, dental specialty services, bariatric and cosmetic services, and a 24-hour translation service, which has improved communication between Arabic-speaking patients and Cuban health professionals.
Officially opened in January 2012 as a joint project between the governments of Qatar and Cuba, The Cuban Hospital provides medical and surgical services across more than 25 specialties to patients in Dukhan, Zekreet, Shahaniya, Umm Bab, and the surrounding areas. It also supports the public health system as a whole, caring for patients from Doha.
Since its last JCI accreditation visit in 2016, the hospital has seen a sharp rise in the number of patients being seen, recording over 85,727 outpatient visits and 6,756 inpatient visits in 2018, compared to 63,358 outpatient visits and 4,700 inpatient visits in 2016. The hospital has also experienced a 35 percent growth in the number of surgical procedures it performed since 2016.
Dr. Angel Mario Felipe Garmendia, The Cuban Hospital’s Medical Director, says while the expansion of new services have been important and are noteworthy, the introduction of patient safety and prevention programs were a major focus of the JCI inspector’s recent visit.
“QAWS, or the Qatar Early Warning System, is a scoring system that helps clinical staff recognize deteriorating patients before they become very sick. This program has been instrumental in diagnosing and treating patients who need intervention to prevent their condition from worsening. The program has had a real impact on patient care by acting as a safety net, identifying clinical deterioration in a patient’s condition and prompting specific action. Our VTE (venous thromboembolism) prevention program has also been instrumental in improving patient care and health outcomes by preventing potentially life-threatening blood clots,” said Dr. Garmendia.