Integrated, Patient-Centred Care Key to High-Quality Healthcare, Says Minister of Public Health
Doha, 27 March, 2019: The largest conference in the Arab world dedicated to healthcare quality improvement and patient safety concluded earlier this week with nearly 3,000 healthcare leaders and practitioners from Qatar and across the region in attendance. The three-day conference was opened by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 7th Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, said it had been a remarkable year for healthcare in Qatar. Citing the country’s ranking by the Legatum Institute as fifth in the world for health, she said the growth and expansion of Qatar’s healthcare facilities paired with the high-quality of care delivered to patients across the system resulted in international recognition, but noted that capacity growth was only part of the equation to delivering world-class care.
“Our commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030, to our National Health Strategy 2018-2022, to our Quality and Patient Safety Programs, and to our patients has seen us over the last few years become globally recognized by agencies such as the World Health Organization, World Bank, and independent think tanks as amongst the best in the world in healthcare quality and access,” said Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.
“Over the last three years, we have opened a total of eleven hospitals. This is a significant growth for any health system in such a short period of time. And while improving our capacity to respond is very important, our transformation journey is much more than capacity growth. It is about building the capability of our workforce to face the challenges of the future by equipping them with skills and knowledge. It is about continuing to examine how we plan, organize, and deliver services to provide the triple aim of better care, better value and better health,” said Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.
The Forum, which included more than 80 sessions delivered by over 150 international and locally based presenters, was developed by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Patient safety, quality improvement, value, flow and access, workplace effectiveness, and population health were among the topics covered as part of the event’s theme of ‘Patient Safety First’. These topics were also explored in the 107 quality posters included in the poster exhibition and competition. The IHI faculty rated the posters to be on par with international exhibitions, which is a testimony to the advancement in quality improvement principles and methodology understanding and application in Qatar and the region.
Speaking about the high calibre of posters at this year’s conference, Ms. Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow, IHI, said this year’s submissions demonstrated the power of the ‘all teach, all learn’ philosophy.
“Seeing projects from all across the country, and from all parts of the health system, demonstrates that this is a true learning and innovation community. We have staff nurses, pharmacists, and executives all coming together to connect with like-minded colleagues under a philosophy of ‘all teach, all learn’ to make healthcare the best it can be. And the vision for the future is even more exciting. Qatar is creating a world-class, integrated health system where the pieces of a complex puzzle are coming together - all on behalf of our patients and our communities,” said Ms. Bisognano.
The Forum’s unique exhibition area, The Knowledge Zone, was a popular gathering place for conference attendees with over 15 exhibitors, including the Ministry of Public Health, HMC’s Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute (HHQI), Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP), Qatar Armed Forces, Qatar Red Crescent, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, and the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).
During the final day of the Forum, Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari launched the Patient Experience Forum, which will be held in November and is expected to be one of the largest patient experience focused healthcare conferences held in the region. Delivered by HMC in partnership with internationally renowned healthcare consultants Planetree Inc., the conference will highlight the importance of involving patients, and their families and caregivers, in every decision that impacts the care they receive and will be a platform for discussion around a more empathetic and collaborative approach to care.
During the closing remarks, the co-chairs of the Forum, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at HMC, and Mr. Nasser Al Naimi, Deputy Chief of Quality and Director of Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute, announced that the next Middle East Forum is scheduled to be held in March 2020.