“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – Patch Adams (American physician, comedian, social activist)
Doha 01 November 2022: In recognition of the growing need for more age-friendly healthcare in Qatar, the National Health Strategy Lead for Healthy Ageing, Dr. Hanadi Al-Hamad, is endorsing the concept development of Age-Friendly Health Systems in Qatar, designed to offer specialized, safe, and evidence-based healthcare to older adults that focuses on their needs and preferences. The program is supported by Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute (HHQI) in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
In preparation for the launch of the Age-Friendly Health Systems Collaborative, an Expert Design Meeting was conducted over two days in October 2022 in the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute auditorium, led by subject matter experts from IHI, HHQI and HMC’s Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care. The meeting was attended by HMC Clinical Leads and staff who are working on the Age Friendly Care program.
The objective of this meeting’s was to develop the strategic aim for the spread of Age-Friendly Care at HMC and to identify and tailor the 4Ms framework, Implementation Guide, and measurement strategy to the local context in Qatar. The framework is based on a set of four evidence-based elements of high-quality care, known as the “4Ms,” that incorporate (1) What Matters (recognition of older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences); (2) Medication (reviewing medication holistically from a more age-friendly perspective); (3) Mentation (prevent, identify, treat, and manage delirium across settings of care); (4) Mobility (encouraging daily movement in older adults to maintain function).
Dr. Al-Hamad, who is Chairperson for Geriatrics and Long-Term Care at HMC and also the Medical Director at Rumailah Hospital and the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute said the discussions helped established a shared understanding of the current state of older adult care at HMC: “HMC is a regional leader in developing better healthcare support for our older adult community and I am pleased to say that we have established many targeted programs that address the needs of patients aged 60 and above. This meeting with different experts has enabled us to review more opportunities for further improvement that will enable us to set a clear roadmap for developing age-friendly programs and health systems for our population, based on their needs.”
“I am delighted that we are establishing this collaborative in Qatar with the valuable support of IHI and HHQI partners. Together we can work on enhancing standards in patient flow, home healthcare integration and the development of further services across Qatar, which will greatly help our older community,” added Dr. Al-Hamad.
Mr. Nasser Al Naimi, Deputy Chief of Quality, and Director at Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute and the Center for Patient Experience and Staff Engagement (CPESE) said that Age-Friendly Health Systems aim to follow an essential set of evidence-based practices: “The goal with this new collaborative is to promote understanding of what it means to ‘cause no harm’ specifically for older patients. By aligning this with the concept of ‘What Matters’ to older adults and their family or caregivers, we can design healthcare systems that understand and cater to the needs of this patient population group.”
“There is a quote from Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams that illustrates how HMC envisions having an Age-Friendly Health Care System (AFHS) here in Qatar: “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome” – and that is what we strive for, ensuring we invest hearts and minds in what we do and how we provide for our patients especially as they grow older,” added Mr. Al Naimi.
The discussions were facilitated by the IHI faculty leads, Dr. Terry Fulmer, Dr. Nicole Brandt, Dr. Cynthia Brown, Dr. Donna Fick, Leslie Pelton and Kellyanne Pepin, who have shared their expertise and experience. IHI has acknowledged the great work and progress that Qatar has been doing for its elderly population. The team expressed the sentiment that: “With the leadership support and commitment of the healthcare professionals, we are off to a good start with the launch of the Age-Friendly Health Systems Collaborative and indeed, together we will deliver the best in care for our nations elders and making Qatar, one of the best Age-Friendly countries across the world.”